D.C. gets school vouchers

The Senate has passed a school voucher plan for District of Columbia students.

The $13 million plan would award private-school vouchers to at least 1,700 poor students in the district, home to a chronically struggling system of 65,000 students. Students must gain admission to a private school and cover tuition or other costs exceeding their vouchers.

Critics want to give the money to the public schools. Actually, the plan does that too, giving D.C. “an extra $1 million for administrative costs, $13 million for its charter schools and $13 million for its other public schools.”

About Joanne


  1. Hunter McDaniel says:

    $13 million is a trivial amount of money in the context of overall DC school expenditures, much less the federal budget in toto.

    That we have had such a long fight to obtain such a pittance shows just how much the educational establishment fears vouchers, because they know deep down that the idea once implemented will be extremely popular.

  2. PJ/Maryland says:

    Not only is $13 million not much, but apparently they had to include $1 million for admin costs, another $13 million for DC charter schools, and yet another $13 million for regular public schools. So the Senate has voted to spend $40 million to get $13 million in vouchers.

    So what does the National School Board Association say? “Vouchers have been shown time and again to drain dollars from public schools and fail to improve student achievement,” said Anne Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association. “Today, the Senate let down America’s schoolchildren and taxpayers.”

    Frankly, I think it’s a bit sad that the vouchers will only be available for a couple of thousand (or so) students, or 3 or 4% of DC’s students. Still, I guess this is better than nothing.

  3. Wacky Hermit says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that when both dollars AND students drain out of a school system, it’s the dollars that the administrators complain about losing.

  4. Steve LaBonne says:

    In stories like this the press often does a very poor job of informing readers that the DC school district is “struggling”(falling on its face, is more like it) _despite_ being near the top of the league in per-pupil spending. So much for the theory that more money is what failing districts need. When you throw more money into a hole, all you get is a hole with more money in it.

  5. Mitch Ruth says:

    Well, since I’ve gotten back into public school teaching, my classroom budget has been cut by 30% to a figure that is just as good as nothing. I think a few less students would make the situation a lot better…

    Vouchers would do a lot for education. Monopoly stifles creativity and competition breeds excellence. If one of the results is that all the “good” students leave, that means I will have more time and resources for the ones who are left. Heck, I might be one of the ones who leaves with the “good” students.