Jackson: DC Vouchers Earned Failing Grade

Washington, D.C.—(ENEWSPF)—March 30, 2011.  Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. today voted against H.R. 471, the poorly-named Scholarships for Opportunity Results (SOAR) Act.  This bill would perpetuate a school voucher program in Washington, DC that has failed to achieve any successful results.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, it costs approximately $100 million to implement the program, but less than 50 percent of students who start in a new school using vouchers end up graduating from it.

Congressman Jackson made the following comments about the legislation:

“As we prioritize spending and focus on Main Street, this is the wrong time to give up on neighborhood schools and public education.  It is important for Members to listen to those who are impacted.  DC does not want this failed program. Public education has given America tremendous benefits and it is wrong to divert critical funding into exclusive private schools.

“This pilot program was given five years to produce educational results for the children of Washington, DC — and it failed.  A study by the Department of Education in 2010 found no significant improvement in reading or math by any subset of students who used the program. As a father, I agree with the parents of Washington, DC that resources are better spent in the public schools to improve the education available to all students instead of subsidizing private schools for a fortunate few.

“It is unfortunate that in this time of record unemployment, the Republican majority in the House wastes valuable floor time on legislation that doesn’t work instead of focusing on putting Americans back to work.”

Source:  Representative Jackson