President George W. Bush said yesterday that he will work to expand a federally funded school voucher program for D.C. students. He made the remarks at a one-day White House summit on inner-city children and faith-based schools.
Since 1994, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program has provided 2,600 low-income District children as much as $7,500 a year for tuition, transportation and fees to attend private or parochial schools. Bush said he will urge Congress to reauthorize the D.C. Choice Incentive Act, which created the program that will end after the 2008-09 school year, and expand it to allow more children to participate.
A report by the Government Accountability Office last year cited a lack of financial controls at schools that receive vouchers and a failure to ensure that participating schools are accredited. (The Washington Post wrote about the report, and supporters of the program had their say on the coverage.)
Yesterday, Bush said, "There's a lot of people who want their children to be able to take advantage of this program."