DC Voucher Program delayed

Dec. 11, 2003, midnight | By Kedamai Fisseha | 20 years, 6 months ago

Voucher advocates frustrated by Congressional inaction

This is not original reporting. Information has been compiled from the Washington Post article "Congress delays voucher action" by Spencer S. Hsu.

Effective implementation of a voucher program in DC is less likely after further delay by legislators, officials reported.

Before adjourning for Thanksgiving on Tuesday, legislators postponed the vote on DC's voucher program for at least two weeks. The house is next slated to assemble on December 8 and the senate plans to meet on December 9.

Officials in the Department of Education said that the delay is potentially detrimental to the voucher program, which is supposed to start in DC in the fall of 2004. Nina Shokraii Rees, deputy undersecretary for innovation and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education told the Washington Post that the setback may pose a problem in the summer when parents have to rush to choose schools for their children.

The five-year program will offer up to $7,500 to 1,700 low-income students in the District. Rees said that program administrators will likely select voucher students by June 21.

The schools expected to accommodate most voucher students are under the direction of the Archdiocese of Washington. The Archdiocese generally sends out acceptance letters to students by the end of February.

Kaleem Caire, D.C. voucher project director for Fight for Children, a Washington education advocacy group, said that this delay in Congress makes the program "almost too challenging."

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Kedamai Fisseha. Kedamai Fisseha sorely misses the computer lab where Silver Chips was born and is daily reborn. He is currently living and writing from London, England where he is glad for the chance to continue his participation in the organization. More »

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