Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Washington, DC: Last night the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to create a pilot voucher program in the overwhelmingly Democratic District of Columbia. The vouchers would use local tax money set aside for public schools to pay for a student attending a failing school to transfer to a private school.

Now, I am opposed to vouchers. I don't understand how you can fix a failing public school system by taking money away and giving it to private schools. I understand that a few students would benefit from the opportunity to go to a better school, but that leaves the vast majority of the their peers in a worse situation. I don't buy the argument that competition will improve the state-run schools.

However, if conservatives want to create a pilot program to test a voucher program, I'm open to that. But notice that they aren't doing that in any of their own states or their own school districts. They're using Washington, DC as a guinea pig, and the citizens there have no political recourse.

I work in Washington, DC, but I would never want to live there (Arlington, Virginia is now my home). The city is run by Congress, yet it has absolutely no representation in Congress -- no senators and no voting representatives. The 500,000-plus people who live here have protested by posting on many of their license plates, "Taxation Without Representation", but the shouts have fallen on deaf ears.

So now Republicans are forcing the Democratic residents of the nation's capital to participate in a controversial experiment that most Democrats oppose. And the Republicans passed the bill through the House by one vote while many opponents of the bill were attending a nearby debate among the Democratic candidates for president.

Washington, DC has many of its own problems. The city doesn't need Congress making it any worse.

Respond to


Post a Comment

Copyright © Staunch Moderate
Using Caribou Theme | Bloggerized by Themescook