The New York Times first reported on the threat to the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program in this article on February 27 that nicely summarized the situation. Since then, the spending bill has passed and the language that threatens the OSP remained intact. President Obama’s press secretary and Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, have indicated that they may be willing to continue funding the students currently enrolled in the program, but this “grandfathering” approach will still result in the program’s eventual demise. This March 11th Washington Times article describes the debate in the Senate between Senator Dick Durbin, who opposed the program, and Senator Mike Ensign, who proposed an amendment that would save the program. And this piece in World Magazine nicely summarizes the political landscape surrounding the program, identifying some of the key Democrats in Congress and the Senate who need to hear from us.
Supporters of the OSP now must push for lawmakers to hold reauthorization hearings, and while there are some indications that House Democrats do not intend to hold these hearings, Senator Joe Lieberman has indicated that he would hold hearings in the Senate committee on Homeland Security, which has jurisdiction over some DC matters.
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