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“All Americans are free to donate to the churches and church schools of their choice,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn. “But no American should be forced to support a church or church school by the government.”

In 2009, the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress began defunding the program and would not allow new students to participate.

Under the current plan, students can receive a voucher up to $7,500. The proposed legislation would offer students attending elementary school a scholarship of up to $8,000 a year and students attending high school a scholarship up to $12,000 a year.

The measure was introduced in the House by Mr. Boehner of Ohio and in the Senate by Connecticut’s Mr. Lieberman. The eight Senate and House co-sponsors include at least one Democrat, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

“If we’re serious about bipartisan education reform, then this bipartisan education bill should be the starting point,” Mr. Boehner said. He credited Mr. Obama for challenging teacher unions on issues such as performance pay and expressed hope he would challenge them on this.

Mrs. Norton said the waiting lists for the city’s charters proves parental preference and that Mr. Boehner is ignoring the bipartisan compromise, which curbed future funding but allowed the roughly 1,700 voucher students to remain in their private schools until graduation.