FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lansing)—In what is to be considered a major victory for the school choice movement, the United States House of Representatives yesterday voted to reauthorize the Opportunity Scholarship Program for students in the District of Columbia. The program allows low-income students to receive a scholarship to attend a private school of their parents’ choice. Michigan Catholic Conference released the following statement praising those who voted to support this policy:
“Michigan Catholic Conference is grateful to the members of the Michigan congressional delegation who stood up for children rather than special interests by supporting reauthorization of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. School reform policies that recognize parents as the primary educators of their children, and give those parents the latitude to educate their children where and how they best see fit deserves full support. The Opportunity Scholarship Program has a proven track record of giving students a greater opportunity to learn and to succeed and, according to Patrick J. Wolf, the principal investigator of the program, ‘it markedly improved important educational outcomes for low-income inner-city students.’ Proven policies that do what is right for students, what is right for families, and what is right for education, should now be supported by both the U.S. Senate and the President of the United States.”
The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was restored in the United State House of Representatives through the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act, which passed the House 225–195. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences, students who used their scholarships posted graduation rates of 91 percent—more than 30 points higher than the graduation rates in D.C.’s public schools. Companion bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, Diane Feinstein and Lamar Alexander will soon be debated by the U.S. Senate.
Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.
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