Obama's new budget is 1,470 pages long. On page 1,318, Obama announces he will end funding for the DC "Opportunity Scholarship" program, which gives poor kids the option of going to a private school instead of being stuck in the government monopoly. [HT: Fox News' Ed Henry]
It's a popular program - 500 more kids applied last year than there was room for - and for good reason: A "gold-standard" Department of Education study found that kids who were randomly selected to get the scholarship ended up 3 months ahead of their peers in reading, were happier with their school, and had higher graduation rates. To get those results, the private schools spent less than half what government-run schools spent per student.
It should be no surprise that, when parents can choose, schools are forced to get better.
But Obama's new budget kills the school choice program, while it gives an extra $36 million to DC's government-run schools. This will supposedly save $20 million. The administration says it did this:
"...in continued support of the District's efforts to transform its public education system into... a model for urban districts across the nation."
A model for urban districts across the nation? Give me a break. DC scores behind every single state in reading and math. And behind every city but Detroit in math.
More money won't solve that. School choice would.