Federal Program Offers Private-School Vouchers To D.C. Students | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Federal Program Offers Private-School Vouchers To D.C. Students

Play associated audio
The voucher program is unpopular with teachers because it is said to take money out of public schools.
Basheer Tome: http://www.flickr.com/photos/basheertome/4597447306/
The voucher program is unpopular with teachers because it is said to take money out of public schools.

Nearly 300 children have been awarded new private-school tuition vouchers under a federal program that's been the source of tension between Congress and the White House. The D.C. Opportunity scholarship program is awarding approximately 1,800 vouchers this year.

Salma Khan is the director of the effort. She says there are about 300 new students in the program this year, and that most of them come from households receiving food stamps.

"The funding is geared towards low-income students in the district who attend school that have been designated as in need of improvement," says Khan.

Carlos Battle is currently a student at Northeastern University and the first person in his family to go to college. He says the scholarship program helped him get where he is today, and that thanks to the program, his younger brother is on the same path.

"He could've been one of the kids outside doing what he's not supposed to," says Battle. "Instead, he took a better route that will help him and his future. I'm just proud of him."

Since the program was started in 2004, more than 5,000 students have recieved vouchers. The vouchers offer recipients up to $12,205 to attend private high schools or $8,136 for elementary and middle schools.

The program has been in place since 2004, and the nation's capital is the only jurisdiction where federal tax dollars are used to subsidize private-school tuition. The Obama administration has attempted to phase it out, but House Majority Leader John Boehner and others in Congress have fought to keep it.


Desperate To Speak: How Emily Blunt Found Her Voice

The actress stars in the new film Into The Woods, in theaters Thursday. On screen she's a natural. But as a kid, she had a stutter so severe she could hardly say her own name.

A History Lesson On The Philippines, Stuffed In A Christmas Chicken

Rellenong manok is a deboned chicken filled with a jumble of ingredients. If it seems hard to pin down how this dish got all its fillings, it's because of the complexity of the Philippines' culture.

GOP Sens. Rubio, Paul Square Off Over Cuba Policy Shift

Rubio, appearing on ABC's This Week, lashed out at Paul, who has expressed support for opening trade with the island nation after a decades-long embargo.

Obama Calls North Korean Hack 'Cybervandalism'

On CNN's State of the Union, the president expanded on earlier remarks he made criticizing a decision by Sony Pictures to pull distribution of The Interview.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.