Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Monday that they intend to restore funding for a school voucher program in the District that President Obama wants to cut.
The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which allows low-income students to attend private schools, "has provided a lifeline to many disadvantaged kids in the District, and I hope that Congress will fully fund the program this year," said Lieberman.
While Senate and House leaders agreed to restore the funding that Obama sought to cut, they haven't decided how much money to provide. The House wants to restore $20 million. The Senate proposes $13.5 million. Both versions would lift the cap on the number of participating students imposed by Obama.
Obama's proposed cut would not have eliminated the scholarship program, but it would have reduced the number of students who could participate, said Ed Davies of the D.C. Children & Youth Investment Trust Corp.
The scholarship program now pays to send about 1,800 students to private schools. Of the nearly 1,200 students who applied this year, 522 are eligible for scholarships if there is funding.
"I think it restores a lot of confidence for the families," Davies said of the congressional efforts to restore funding. "It also will serve as an advertisement for families interested next year."