Yesterday just over 2000 people gathered at a rally for School choice. As you may be aware, the Congress recently voted to suspend the Opportunity Scholarship Program in the District of Columbia. The program allowed students who qualified to receive up $7,500 to attend the private school of their parent’s choice. I have blogged on it before HERE and HERE. It is a very sad loss of opportunity for District of Columbia school students whose only option now may be a seriously deficient public school system. Students currently in the Opportunity Scholarship Program can stay but no new students can be admitted.
In this issue, if the focus is on Children and what is best for them, then the Opportunity Scholarship Program should continue. If the focus shifts to politicians and teachers unions and what they want, the children suffer. And before anyone says that the Archdiocese is just out for money, the fact is we have lost money on the program since the scholarships do not cover the total cost of educating these children in our schools.
But we will continue to fight for what is best for children and we are willing to make scarifices for providing what is best for them. Our own resources are linited and the Opportunity Scholarships helped us provide a quality education to many more than our own scholarship funds could assist. We will continue to work with others to build a pluralistic coalition that will act to have the Opportunity Scholarship Program reinstated. The children deserve options.
The following video was shot by Susan Gibbs at the Rally for School Choice yesterday. The video features Ryan Washington, an 8th Grader at St. Augustine School here in the District.
One Reply to “Rally for School Choice”
The problem of placing a child in a good school isn’t only reserved for the District. I have children in 8th and 6th grade & preschooler enrolled in our parish’s school in Maryland. I had other children in the school too, but, from the time my 8th graders began school to now, tuition nearly doubled and the sibling discount slashed. We couldn’t any longer afford it and decided to put my two children in a public school.
Now, we’re faced with a decision about high school. I say “decision” theoretically” because we really do not have a choice. Private high school tuition, in many cases, is now on par with college tuition. I always joked about paying more for one child to attend our parish school each year than I did for my son to go to UMD (where there was a lot of scholarship money, grants and work study). Now, he goes to Georgetown Law School, and after the grants and scholarships, it would cost more to send my daughter to Stone Ridge (my alma mater) than we pay for one of the top law schools in the country.
Last week, a video went viral which depicted a “Chicago-like” fight where I may have “to chose” to send my child to school- John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Md. They have a football game there tonight where the principal has promised to beef up police presence to ensure safety. So, you can imagine how this “choice” is making me feel. It’s very discouraging, and I hope the residents of DC will be afforded the opportunity to send their children to good and safe school, but I also wish the same thing for those of us out in the suburbs.
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