A Senate Subcommittee will discuss tomorrow the future of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) tomorrow. The school voucher program for low income children in the District of Columbia was canceled by the Democratic Congress and President Obama at the behest of teachers' unions, but recipients are pleading for its reauthorization.
OSP currently offers $7,500 scholarships to 1,012 students to attend private K-12 institutions in D.C. President Obama included no funding for OSP in his fiscal 2012 budget request, but House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., introduced a bill in January to bring it back. Their measure would restructure OSP and provide it with a 5-year, $60 million reauthorization.
Dr. Patrick Wolf, a witness at tomorrow's hearing, will testify that OSP saves taxpayers millions of dollars in the long run, because students who receive and make use of the scholarships are nearly one-third more likely to graduate. This reduces their future need for social services and increases their future taxable earnings. The Obama administration estimates that by helping one additional student to graduate from high school, you save the government $269,000 over that student's lifetime.