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Cantor Says Democrats Are Chipping Away At School Choice

In an address on school choice and voucher programs this week, Virginia Republican Congressman Eric Cantor lashed out at President Barack Obama and others on how they seek to educate the country's children.

Cantor, the number two House Republican, has been touring city schools from his Richmond district to as far away as Denver. He says to alleviate poverty the government should get out of the way of low income families who want to send their kids to charter schools.

"But right now school choice is under attack," he said.

Cantor criticized the new mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, for promising to change his city's charter school programs. Cantor also lashed out at President Obama for refusing to include funding for the District's voucher program in his annual budget.

In his speech, Cantor said that the Obama administration was allowing ideology to cloud its judgement on the program, which was created in 2004 and provides federal dollars to low-income children to attend private schools.

"No matter what party or what philosophy we adhere to or come from, we should all leave no doubt that the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship will receive the funding and support that it deserves," he said.

Northern Virginia Democratic Congressman Gerry Connolly says Cantor's vision is too narrow.

"I don't know that the solution. In fact I know the solution is not to just abandon our public education system in America," he says.

Connolly says Cantor and House Republicans could show support for low-income students by increasing funding for school nutrition programs and by extending long-term unemployment benefits.

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