Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hope for the future

So I was going to post some comments on “debt” today, in light of the continuing back and forth over transportation funding.

It strikes me as odd that much of the 2004 debate was centered around “securing the AAA bond rating,” and to me the only need to “secure” it would be so that we could utilize the rating to fund projects. Yet, now that we have it secured, there are some folks in Richmond who don’t want to actually utilize that great bond rating (with rates so low that they’re are about half of prime) to fund road project, yet they’re more than happy to take on debt to pay for higher education or a statewide radio network, including commitments to about $1.3 billion in capital projects next year with no money attached to actually pay for it…

But I digress... more on that another time.

For now, I wanted to point out this article by Dan Lips from The Heritage Foundation on school choice and how the issue is finally starting to pick up some national momentum. President Bush’s 2007 budget includes funding for the Opportunity Scholarships for Kids initiative. This program would establish federal grants to local scholarship organizations to allow children to attend private schools, which is similar to legislation introduced by Delegate Saxman here in Virginia during this year’s session (HB1294).

“What works, say Feulner, Wilson and a host of others, is parents directing their children’s education and school systems providing choices to meet those needs.

Ask Catherine Hill.

As the guardian of three children who use opportunity scholarships to attend private schools in Washington, D.C., Hill understands the value of real choice in a school system.

Ms. Hill’s nephew, Eric, had reached age 8 without learning to read. School officials were preparing to send him to special education. But he received a voucher, transferred to St. Gabriel’s Catholic School and has been thriving in his new classroom. Now, he not only reads, he receives perfect scores on his spelling tests.

“He’s so proud,” Hill says. “He recently told me, ‘Auntie, this is the best school you could have put me in.’”

All kids deserve the chance to feel as proud as Eric.



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