Today’s Wall Street Journal left a bitter taste in my mouth. The article, ‘Duplicitous and Shameful’ Democrats Vote to Send Poor Kids to Inferior Schools, details how the fate of the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) was decided by Congress this past week. Congress’ choice to kill the OSP affects the thousands of children in the DC area who had the ambition and desire to attend a successful school.

According to the article,

“On Sunday the Senate approved a spending bill that phases out funding for the five-year-old program. Several prominent Senators this week sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid pleading for a reconsideration. Signed by Independent-Democrat Joe Lieberman, Democrats Robert Byrd and Dianne Feinstein, and Republicans Susan Collins and John Ensign, it asked to save a program that has “provided a lifeline to many low-income students in the District of Columbia.” President Obama signed the bill Thursday.”

This is a somber moment for the thousands of supporters of the OSP. Even after studies proved the program’s effectiveness, and the fact that the program’s popularity rose significantly – resulting in long waiting lists — Congress still voted to kill the program with support from the Obama Administration. 

The only cheers and smiles this holiday season have come from the teachers unions, who have been against school choice and vouchers from the get go.

“Opposition to vouchers is a top priority for NEA,” declared the union in a letter sent to every Democrat in the House and Senate in March. “We expect that Members of Congress who support public education, and whom we have supported, will stand firm against any proposal to extend the pilot program. Actions associated with these issues WILL be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 111th Congress.”

 Unfortunately, the voucher program is now closed to new students, a decision that former DC Councilman OSP advocate Kevin Chavous called “duplicitous and shameful.” The Wall Street Journal said Chavous’ remarks were “Strong language. But if you’re a kid in D.C. trying to escape its awful schools, maybe not strong enough.”

Despite this setback, supporters of programs like the OSP will continue to fight for school choice and vouchers for low income families. The teachers unions and the Obama Administration have won this battle, but the war is far from over.