News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Clinton Vetoes D.C. Voucher Bill
President Clinton last week vetoed a bill that would have provided federally financed vouchers for students from low-income families in the District of Columbia.
The "D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Bill," a Republican priority, would have given scholarships of up to $3,200 to about 2,000 poor Washington students. The aid could have been used at any private, religious, or out-of-district public school. Mr. Clinton and most Democrats had repeatedly criticized the measure as an attack on public schools. ("House Endorses Voucher Program for D.C. Schools," May 6, 1998.)
"It says a lot about the character of our president that he would stand in the schoolhouse door and deny D.C.'s most vulnerable children the opportunity for a decent education," Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas, said after the veto. Mr. Armey, the House majority leader, was a chief supporter of the measure.
Mr. Armey and other sponsors had held a so-called enrollment ceremony, a rare event in which legislation is signed and sent to the White House with much pomp and circumstance, earlier this month in a poor Southeast Washington neighborhood.
Senate Panel Approves OERI Head
The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee approved by a voice vote May 13 the nomination of Cyril Kent McGuire as the assistant secretary for the Department of Education's office of educational research and improvement.
Mr. McGuire, a program officer for the education portfolio of the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts, manages the philanthropy's education reform initiatives. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Columbia University, and the University of Colorado.
Currently the acting assistant secretary at the OERI, which underwrites research and projects to improve education and collect information on the condition of education, Mr. McGuire would manage 350 full-time employees and an annual budget of $400 million.
The nomination will likely be voted on by the full Senate next month.
Vol. 17, Issue 37, Page 22