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Why does Durbin oppose parental choice?

My wife and I sent our three children to Catholic schools. That was our choice. We continued to pay our property taxes to support public schools. I have openly supported public school referenda in my community. I have done everything in my State to make sure there was adequate funding for public schools, but we made a personal family decision, based on a number of circumstances, to send our children to the local Catholic schools.

That was our decision at our expense. I have no prejudice against private education. If I entrusted my children to it, I certainly believe in it. But the question always came up in my mind: Who should pay for it. We were prepared as a family to pay for it. It was an extra sacrifice we were prepared to bear.

These are the words of Senator Dick Durbin, the author of language in the recently passed $410 billion spending bill that will effectively shut down the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. Senator Durbin – and almost half of his colleagues in the US Senate, the President, and the Mayor of Washington, DC – choose to send their kids to private schools, but many families cannot afford it. The families in Washington DC who take advantage of the DC Opportunity Scholarship program earn, on average, less than $23,000 a year.

Why does Durbin want to shut down a program that extends to poor families the same choice his family enjoys?

Read more about Durbin’s take on parental choice in The Weekly Standard’s latest blog posting.


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