Parents Push for D.C. School Vouchers | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Parents Push for D.C. School Vouchers

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As President Obama prepared to address the nation's school children, parents in D.C. were addressing a school vouchers program Congress has not re-authorized. Local leaders and concerned parents went toe-to-toe with police in front of the U.S. Department of Education to protest cuts to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program. It provides private school vouchers for 1700 kids.

Kevin Chavous is on the board of D.C. Children First. The former D.C. Council member wants to catch the president's ear. "We'd like for him to support the re-authorization of the scholarship program. There's a bill pending by Senator Lieberman, co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group."

Single mom Latasha Bennett lent her voice. Her son Nikko has attended private school for two years. Her four year-old daughter Nia had her scholarship rescinded when Congress left vouchers out of the budget. "To take away this opportunity scholarship is not a stab in the back...it's a stab in our face. I quote Obama: once he get in office, no child should be left behind. But my Nia is being left behind." Bennett says she can tell the difference between public and private education. "Oh my goodness - from the public school I put him in? He don't even want to miss a day of school!"

A bill to fund the program was introduced in the Senate on July 30th under the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act.

Stephanie Kaye reports...

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