"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Feinstein and Other "Democrats" Supporting DC Vouchers

Got this email from Pete Farruggio:

Just got this letter from California senator Dianne Feinstein (below) defending her support for vouchers, and revealing that she intends to interfere with the school system in Washington DC by co-sponsoring a voucher bill with a Republican. With her billionaire husband, she represents to me the state of the Democratic Party as the biggest obstacle to real change in the US political/economic system, as long as so many misinformed Americans support it.

Here's a local DC story about charter schools:

A charter school chain is trying to open a middle school Washington, D.C.'s Ward 8 and has enraged nearby residents in the process. 

Dear Dr. Farruggio:

Thank you for writing to me to express your concerns about vouchers.  I  appreciate hearing from you, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

I understand that you do not support the reauthorization of the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (Public Law 112-10), which provides funding to the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program (DC OSP).  DC OSP provides scholarships for students to attend private schools and provides funding for D.C. Charter Schools and D.C. Public Schools that serve students from K-12th grade.

Like you, I believe that all students deserve access to high-quality education.  However, I believe that a one-size fits all approach to our children’s education does not always work and that different school models may work better for different students.  Parents should have an informed and meaningful choice in their children’s education.  

On January 24, 2019, I, along with Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced the “SOAR Reauthorization Act of 2019” (S. 213), which would allow families in the District of Columbia to continue to be able to choose their educational experience through the DC OSP program.  S. 213 would reauthorize funding for DC public schools, public charter schools, and DCOSP schools through Fiscal Year 2024.  The bill would also require an assessment of student growth and progress each year a child participates in the program.  S. 213 is currently awaiting consideration by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, of which I am not a member.

It is worth noting that I do not believe that our educational system should promote school choice at the expense of federal funding for students who attend public K-12 public schools.  You may be interested to know that when considering education reform through the Every Student Succeeds Act (Public Law 114-95), I voted against amendments that would have allowed federal funding to be used at private schools.

While we may have to agree to disagree on this issue, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as the Senate considers S. 213.  I will continue to fight to ensure that students have all the resources they need to succeed in school and beyond.

Once again, thank you for writing.  Should you have any other questions or comments, please call my Washington, D.C., office at (202) 224-3841 or visit my website at feinstein.senate.gov.  You can also follow me online at YouTubeFacebook, and Twitter, and you can sign up for my email newsletter at feinstein.senate.gov/newsletter.

Best regards.

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