- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty finally speaks in support of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, the voucher program for 1,700 poor D.C. students to attend private schools (“Fenty pushes for school vouchers,” Page 1, Friday). Where was Mr. Fenty when this issue was being debated heatedly in the Senate the past few days? No one heard a peep out of him. The Omnibus Appropriations bill kills the program, and Democrats killed the Republican amendment to allow this program to continue.

The Democrats were being held hostage by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the National Education Association. Mrs. Pelosi told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that if the Senate added any amendments, regardless of their merits, the House would not negotiate, the bill would die, and only a continuing resolution would be enacted, which would mean none of the pork projects would be funded. The second hostage-taker, the NEA, made killing this program the No. 1 priority lest its success cause states to emulate it.

The argument that the funds spent on this program drew money away from the District’s public schools is false. Funds for the program were provided over and above any funding the District used for public education. Either the lofty U.S. Senate suffered from the Stockholm syndrome or Mrs. Pelosi and the NEA had the Senate’s family jewels in a lockbox.

JOSEPH R. FARRELL

Alexandria

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