A new evaluation of the nation’s only federally funded private school voucher program finds that students’ math achievement was negatively impacted by participating in what is known as the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program. The vouchers also appeared to have no impact on parents’ overall satisfaction with their children’s schools.
But the same study—done by the Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education—found positive impacts on the perception of school safety among parents whose children participated in the voucher program.
President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos are major supporters of the D.C. voucher program, and school choice in general. And legislation reauthorizing the voucher program is pending in Congress, which is controlled by Republicans.
Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott, the top Democrat on the House education committee, said the report is a sign that Congress should not renew the voucher program.
“We know that these failed programs drain public schools of limited resources, only to deliver broken promises of academic success to parents and students,” Scott said in a statement. “Congress must end this failed program and support the more than 90 percent of students nationwide who are enrolled in public schools.”
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