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Obama and the Dems: Standing in the D.C. schoolhouse door

By Michelle Malkin  •  March 2, 2009 02:15 PM

First, watch this powerful video open letter to President Obama from students who have benefited from D.C. public school choice through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. Kids who support government monopolies get all the MSM attention. These kids get…ignored:

Rob Bluey blasts the Dems’ efforts to block the D.C. schoolhouse door led by Rep. David Obey.

The pro-school choice movement is joined, believe it or not, by the Washington Post editorial board, which writes today that “Ending D.C. school vouchers would dash the best hopes of hundreds of children.”

Last week, the Democrat-controlled House passed a spending bill that spells the end, after the 2009-10 school year, of the federally funded program that enables poor students to attend private schools with scholarships of up to $7,500. A statement signed by Mr. Obey as Appropriations Committee chairman that accompanied the $410 billion spending package directs D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee to “promptly take steps to minimize potential disruption and ensure smooth transition” for students forced back into the public schools.

We would like Mr. Obey and his colleagues to talk about possible “disruption” with Deborah Parker, mother of two children who attend Sidwell Friends School because of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. “The mere thought of returning to public school frightens me,” Ms. Parker told us as she related the opportunities — such as a trip to China for her son — made possible by the program. Tell her, as critics claim, that vouchers don’t work, and she’ll list her children’s improved test scores, feeling of safety and improved motivation.

But the debate unfolding on Capitol Hill isn’t about facts. It’s about politics and the stranglehold the teachers unions have on the Democratic Party. Why else has so much time and effort gone into trying to kill off what, in the grand scheme of government spending, is a tiny program? Why wouldn’t Congress want to get the results of a carefully calibrated scientific study before pulling the plug on a program that has proved to be enormously popular? Could the real fear be that school vouchers might actually be shown to be effective in leveling the academic playing field

The question answers itself.

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