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Budget Deal Includes D.C. Voucher Program Money E-mail
Written by Don Byrd   
Saturday, 09 April 2011

The budget deal reached last night between Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid narrowly averted a shutdown of the government, but included several riders that are just coming to light. Unfortunately, one is an agreement to revive the D.C. school voucher program.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program — which provides low-income District students with federal money to attend private schools — is a top priority of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The program was closed to new entrants by Democrats in 2009, but Boehner has sought to revive and expand the program. The House passed a Boehner-authored bill last month -- the SOAR Act -- to reauthorize the program for five more years, and that bill will be included in the final spending deal and signed into law by Obama.

The voucher program sends taxpayer money to religious schools, and is opposed by the Baptist Joint Committee.