The House of Representatives voted today to reauthorize the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act which funds the Washington DC’s Opportunity Scholarship Program. It is a private school voucher program which serves low-income students in the District of Columbia

This bill renews the program for another five years and provides $20 million in annual funding for scholarships for low-income students in DC to attend private schools.  Additionally, it also authorizes federal funding for the DC’s public and charter schools.

After passage of the bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan wrote on twitter:

“When we give more families a choice, more students succeed.  The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has proven this year after year. Yet out of blind allegiance to special interests, the Obama administration has done everything short of stopping the school buses to block this program. With the help of Mayor Bowser, Chairman Chaffetz, and members of the city council, we have the momentum to keep this program going. Let’s get this done for these kids.”

The bill was backed by a majority of the DC City Council as well as Mayor Muriel Bowser who wrote letters in support for passage of the bill.

Washington, D.C., is a model for school choice in America. Data shows that students who attend schools under the Opportunity Scholarship program as well as students who attend charter schools graduate at higher rates than students at traditional District of Columbia Public Schools.

Today is a win for both parents and students. Access to the many forms of education the city provides shouldn't be a partisan issue.