Friday, July 18, 2003

Please, sir, may I have an education?

From the Washington Post story: “Foes Halt Vote on School Vouchers: Democrats reject Senate’s D.C. Bill

"I very much regret that vouchers have returned to haunt and halt another D.C. appropriations bill," [D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes] Norton said. "People really underestimated how unpopular vouchers are in Congress." [Emphasis added]

Yet vouchers are favored by Washington Mayor Anthony Williams:

Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D), who endorsed a voucher plan on condition that it include money for public schools and charter schools, was traveling yesterday. His chief of staff, Kelvin J. Robinson, said he expected the measure to pass. "We believe there are some Democrats for whom this is not a partisan issue but rather it's a parental choice issue," Robinson said.

Choice!?!” – said the Senate Democrats in a voice from “Oliver Twist” – “CHOICE!?! We shall tell you how to spend money, dear Mayor!”

On the editorial page, the WashPost criticizes Democrats from Louisiana and Illinois for blocking the voucher program for the distressed D.C. schools:

Perhaps the Democrats are suffering from a misapprehension: The school choice initiative is not some partisan program being foisted on the District by the White House. This is an experiment that many of the city's Democratic leaders, most notably the city's mayor, have finally concluded is worth trying, to help the city's poorest children. It is inexcusable for a group of senators, many from distant states, to turn this into a partisan issue of their own. Instead, they should fight to make the D.C. school system work better for more children, in public, private and charter schools across the city.

And the WSJ Opinion Journal also concluded:

Polls show that black parents are the nation's strongest, most consistent supporters of educational choice. For decades they have waited for some acknowledgment of this from the black political establishment. Thanks to Mayor Williams and a few other brave local leaders, it's finally come. What an outrage it will be if a GOP White House and Congress can't get their act together to capitalize on this golden educational opportunity.

Agreed. If only vouchers were more popular….in Congress.

No comments: