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ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.


Senate Committee to Look at D.C. Voucher Program

By Alyson Klein — May 11, 2009 1 min read
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From contributing blogger Erik Robelen:

With debate heating up over the future of the federal voucher program for the District of Columbia, a Senate panel has just announced a hearing on the matter for this Wednesday, May 13.

Based on the title: “The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program: Preserving School Choice for All,” it sounds like the controversial program will get a fairly sympathetic, well, hearing from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. This shouldn’t be too surprising, given the chairman is Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., a longtime proponent of D.C. vouchers.

The hearing comes as President Barack Obama last week unveiled a fiscal 2010 budget that proposes to continue voucher funding for students already in the program—effectively grandfathering them in—but not funding any new students. This approach seems likely to frustrate both the program’s critics and supporters.

A quick scan of the invite list for Sen. Lieberman’s hearing suggests a lot of sympathetic voices will be testifying, including former D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams. As far as I can tell, it looks like no outright opponents of the program will take part. Funny, the invite to Randi Weingarten and Dennis Van Roekel must have gotten lost in the cybermail.

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