Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vouchers update

This is just sad:
WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats have put conditions on future federal financing for a small school voucher program here, and they are urging the schools chancellor to prepare the public schools to re-enroll, in fall 2010, some 1,700 students currently attending private schools at taxpayer expense.

Republican lawmakers contend that the conditions that were quietly inserted into a huge spending bill this week were an effort by Democrats to kill the nation’s only federally financed voucher program.

Last year, a Congressionally mandated review of the program by Department of Education researchers concluded that there were no significant differences between the test scores of students who received a voucher and those who applied but, not receiving one, attended public schools instead.
Even if that research -- based on limited evidence -- is true, then vouchers provide choice without doing harm. Also, given that vouchers cost less than the per student expenditure of DC public schools you are, at worst, achieving the same result for less money. This opposition to vouchers only makes sense when seen through the prism of ideology, when any cutbacks in government are to be reflexively resisted. The bests interests of the children have nothing to do with it.

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