Lady Obama Visits Charter School in DC; Lord Obama Still Screws DC Voucher Program

From the Washington Examiner, an account of a visit to a DC charter school by Michelle Obama.

Obama has been less clear on vouchers. In a questionnaire from teachers unions last year, Obama said he did not support vouchers. Later, in interviews, he indicated a willingness to consider supporting voucher programs that work.

"The president doesn't believe that vouchers are a long-term answer to our educational problems and the challenges that face our public school system," said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

The president's concerns reflect those of key Democratic constituencies, including teachers unions and others who argue that vouchers further weaken troubled public education systems.

Whole story here.

Thought the Examiner soft-pedals it, President Barack Obama has been totally two-faced on the issue of the DC school voucher program, claiming that if it—and other programs like it—"worked," he'd support them because that is "what's best for kids." Naturally, when faced with clear evidence that the DC program works (in the form of a freakin' Dept. of Education study which found significant gains for participants) and costs less per student than the conventional DC public schools, Obama worked with congressional Dems to kill the program.

There's a rally in DC tomorrow to restart the program. Go here for details. And click below to watch the new Reason.tv video about Obama's putting the kibosh on the DC voucher program.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • HammeredHead||

    Unfortunately no surprise there. Within weeks of the election Obama proved himself to be the worst president ever. It took Bush a couple years to reach that distinction. The level of corruption in this administration is striking as it appears that he only governs for the benefit of his supporters. I do hope the make up of congress changes drastically in 2010 and he is impeached.

  • Joel||

    Later, in interviews, he indicated a willingness to consider supporting voucher programs that work.

    Of course it all depends on your definition of "work." Does the voucher system further the aims of the unions that support Obama? No. Does it provide citizens who will uncritically look to their "governmental leaders" for guidance, sustenance and protection? No. Is a well-educated young person more likely to fall into line every time "it's the law?" No.

    Clearly, then, the voucher system doesn't "work," and must be dismantled.

  • Duncan||

    Remember, in DC, vouchers are not the same as charter schools. Vouchers are for students to attend private schools. Charter schools are independent public schools. As someone whose worked with the kids at one DC charter school, I can say that I came away very impressed by the work their doing. This post seems to confuse charter schools with private schools.

  • Duncan||

    who has--not whose

  • Duncan||

    Correction they're not their--sheesh, I should proofread my posts.

  • creech||

    "vouchers further weaken troubled public education systems."

    Of course, having one's kids in elite private schools does not.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Private schools are good enough for Obama's daughters, but not for the rank and file? Funny how that works.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't want tax dollars going towards that either, but I'd MUCH rather they go toward private schools than public ones and let the free market make schools better.

    In my mind, it's the lesser of two evils.

  • Paul||

    The president's concerns reflect those of key Democratic constituencies, including teachers unions and others who argue that vouchers further weaken troubled public education systems.



    They do, in my opinion. However, that's not entirely a bad thing.

  • ||

    All you dumbass poor folk should man up and pay to attend a $16,000 per year private high school like I did. God, you poor bastards are dumb.

  • ||

    who argue that vouchers further weaken troubled public education systems.

    How? They don't reduce by one nickel the funding to the state schools.

    I want to see the Parsin' President explain how sending his kids to a private school doesn't weaken the state schools, but someone else sending their kids to a private school does.

  • Paul||

    who argue that vouchers further weaken troubled public education systems.

    How? They don't reduce by one nickel the funding to the state schools.


    RC, I made a point in a thread a few weeks ago that vouchers do pull more from the school system than your student takes up-- mainly because the teacher's unions and school systems have been caught up in their own hype.

    We're constantly told by education officials that it costs 'x' dollars to educate each child.

    Let's just say for illustration sake that 'x' dollars is $12,000.

    The school system and teacher's union tells us it costs $12,000 to educate each and every child. So logically, we can say that if I pull my child out, that's $12,000 that the school system didn't have to use, and can return to me as a 'voucher' for education elsewhere.

    Problem is, it doesn't cost $12,000 to educate your child. It may only cost $2,900 to educate your child. Because when your child leaves, the school system doesn't cut $12,000 from its budget. If fifty students leave, they don't cut $600,000 from the budget. In fact, they cut nothing from the budget.

    This is a union shop, remember. So less work doesn't mean fewer workers. And they can't even fall back on the smaller class size canard. Because smaller class sizes don't mean reducing the number of students, it means increasing the number of teachers. Proof of this is what's going on with the Seattle school district right now.

    So in a kind of perverse logic, because the school system makes no changes, nor plans to make any changes to their cost structure for every 'x' number of vouchers that come out of the system, they see it as undermining their budgets.

  • Andrew Coulson||

    Paul,

    Actually, the marginal cost of public schooling is usually about 80% of the average per pupil cost. I just calculated it for Nevada a few months ago and it was 86% there.

    I'll grant you, though, that DC is a special case. In the past 3 years they have lost thousands of students and raised total spending. Using the District's FY2009 budget I've calculated that per pupil spending is now $26,555. That's four times the average tuition at the voucher schools. (The calcs can be found if you google: district with more money than god cato).

    Think how bad that makes the unions look. No wonder they demand the program be killed.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement