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With charters and private schools being a better academic fit for many children, Ms. Franklin also spoke proudly of the honor-roll achievements of her sons and their extracurricular accomplishments.

Zuri plays trombone, and they all are always busy, playing basketball, football and baseball,” she said, adding that they “keep me busy with their activities, and I’m a parent volunteer.”

“I push them to do the best they can, so they can get those college scholarships,” she said.

All Ms. Franklin and her sons are hoping for are scholarships to help broaden their academic opportunities.

Mr. Obama is delivering on such opportunities to veterans and immigrants, and accepted accolades Friday from Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla, who praised U.S. programs for her fellow Costa Ricans.

Families wanting government scholarships deserve no less.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at