More Bipartisan Support for School Choice

Support for school choice among Democrats and Independents continues to grow.

Take a look at Sunday’s Opinion piece in The Washington Post by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut), regarding the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program:

“Education Secretary Arne Duncan “will use only one test when deciding what ideas to support with your precious tax dollars: It’s not whether an idea is liberal or conservative, but whether it works.”

So said President Obama in a landmark education speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the District on March 10. I agree with the president: In evaluating an education program, the most important question must be whether it improves student performance.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has generated considerable controversy. This initiative, also known as the D.C. voucher program, offers scholarships to low-income children from failing schools to allow them to attend better private schools. In doing so, the program gives the parents of disadvantaged children a choice that’s available to the more affluent, including many in Congress and the Obama administration. It is a program that teachers unions and many in Congress strongly oppose. However, the program is working, and accordingly, it should be reauthorized.”

Click here to read the full piece, which ran in the Sunday Post.

Sen. Lieberman’s excellent piece adds to the growing chorus of support for the program.

It’s important to remember that bipartisanship has been the cornerstone of recent school choice victories across the country.

In states like Florida, which have increased Democratic support by staggering margins in eight years, and in Iowa, where Democrats have led the fight to pass improvements to the state’s scholarship tax credit program, school choice cuts across party lines. In Louisiana, two Democratic lawmakers last year led the effort to pass a scholarship program for low-income children in New Orleans; the program was subsequently signed into law by a Republican governor.

Make no mistake: support for school choice is growing in all quarters.

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