Within the much-debated continuing resolution—an appropriations bill to fund the federal government through September 2011—is a bit of hope for students in the nation’s capital. The spending bill would remove language inserted in 2009 by Senator Richard Durbin (D–IL) prohibiting new students from receiving scholarships through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP). Despite its success, the program has been hanging by a lifeline for the last two years.

Since 2003, the scholarships have helped thousands of low-income students escape the failing D.C. public schools by giving them the opportunity to attend private schools of their choice. Yet, despite this program’s great track record—displayed by higher graduation rates and reading scores of students, as well as by overwhelming parental satisfaction and community support—the Obama Administration stood by as the program was placed on life support. As a result, D.C. families have been left uncertain about their children’s educational futures.

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