Today, the Washington Post’s
Ms. Wiggins reminds us that 16 states now have some form of private school voucher plan, failing to mention the Opportunity Scholarship Program here in the District of Columbia. Similar to D.C., the teachers’ union vigorously opposed the scholarships, claiming that the program diverts desperately needed dollars away from the traditional public schools. The OSP derives its money from the federal three sector approach in which Congress provides $15 million a year in increased incremental revenue equally to traditional schools, charters, and private school scholarships. In Maryland, the cash for vouchers will come from the state’s reserve account.
Sealing the passage of this legislation was strong backing from Democratic representatives. Delegates Antonio Hayes, Keith Haynes, and others made the case that the scholarships would significantly help black children in Baltimore. The Post states that “former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who is now the president of the University of Baltimore, also pushed for the scholarships, calling private schools ‘a lifesaver’ for many Baltimore students in need.”
It is great to see our neighbors to the north following in our footsteps when it comes to getting behind school choice for those who can benefit from it the most.