D.C. voucher advocates have been pressuring Democrats to revive funding for the program, which low-income students $7,400 scholarships to attend private schools. Democratic opponents are wobbling, but the administration apparently would like to silence the criticism, reports The Weekly Standard and Black America Web.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently asked Kevin Chavous of D.C. Children First, a former D.C. Council member, to kill a 30-second ad urging the president to reauthorize vouchers.
The ad features Chavous and a young boy — one of 216 students whose scholarships were rescinded by the Department of Education earlier this year when the agency announced no new students would be allowed into the program. The ad also includes an excerpt taken from one of Obama’s campaign statements.
“We’re losing several generations of kids,” Obama says, “and something has to be done.”
. . . The young 5th-grade student then pleads for the president’s help. “President Obama, I need a good education right now,” he says. “You can help. Do it for me.”
In a radio interview, Chavous said Holder wasn’t speaking in his official capacity. But a request coming from the attorney general certainly carries some coercive power.
The attorney general shouldn’t be trying to stifle free speech for political gain, writes Andrew Coulson on Cato@Liberty.
If President Obama doesn’t like the criticism, he can change his position. Or suck it up.