Choice Advocates See Hope in New Congress
School choice advocates have high hopes that their issues—particularly a move to pump new life into the federal school voucher program for the District of Columbia—may be back on the table, now that Republicans are in control of the U.S. House of Representatives and enjoy a bolstered minority in the U.S. Senate.
But given the conservative fiscal climate, it’s less likely that Republicans will move to create a new federal voucher program to help low-income students in struggling public schools transfer to a private school. The GOP campaigned on reining in spending and eliminating programs, not creating new ones.
“The federalist argument is that education is a state and local issue. … That’s why D.C. is more and more attractive,” said Nina Rees, who served as assistant secretary for innovation and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education under President George W. Bush. “There is a constitutional role for the federal government [in overseeing the nation’s capital] and also they’ve had a program, and the framework around...
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