Is Councilman Charles Allen opposed to college financial tuition assistance for D.C. students?

In yesterday’s Washington Post article by

“I don’t think vouchers work, and I don’t think it’s right to take public tax dollars and put them into private religious schools,” he said. “And I think everybody agrees that we should not be having Jason Chaffetz and House Republicans serve as the local school board.”

With this comment it appears that Mr. Allen would also call for an immediate end to the federal DC Tuition Assistance Grant program.  As you may remember, DC TAG provides up to $10,000 to students in the nation’s capital to cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition to public universities across the country.  It also offers up to $2,500 per academic year for attendance at private colleges in the city and at private historically black colleges and universities.  The plan was developed by former local Congressman Tom Davis, who my wife and I helped elect when he first ran for the Virginia 11th District seat as coordinators of his campaign in Reston, Virginia.

Mr. Davis was driven to provide this tuition assistance to D.C. scholars because of the lack of choice of quality public colleges and universities within the District. The money allocated to DC TAG is just slightly more than that provided for the Opportunity Scholarship Program at around $17 million annually.  A primary difference, of course, between DC TAG and the OSP is that the first Congressional grant does not provide equal funding to D.C.’s traditional school system and public charter schools as does the SOAR Act within which the OSP legislation resides.

Mr. Allen emphatically states that he does not want public money to go to private religious institutions.  But among the participants in DC TAG are Catholic and Georgetown Universities, both of which are sectarian.

I know some people accuse politicians of being hypocritical, but this is truly not my desire today.  However, a little consistency is really not too much to ask.  If Mr. Allen is so strongly against providing a private school education, exactly like the one President Obama’s kids have enjoyed to pupils living in poverty, then it is only right that he fight with all his might against DC TAG.

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