FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nathan J. Diament
May 7, 2009
UNION OF ORTHODOX JEWISH CONGREGATIONS COMMENDS PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR EXTENDING THE DC VOUCHER PROGRAM; HOPES TO SEE PROGRAM EXPANDED
Today the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (“Orthodox Union”), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, representing nearly 1,000 congregations across North America, commends President Obama on his extension of the Washington, DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.
As advocates of constitutionally permissible aid to empower parents to choose the best education for their children, we at the Orthodox Union are very pleased that the Obama administration has put the needs of children ahead of political ideology. In these difficult economic times, it is even more difficult for parents to afford the school that will be best for their children, and government programs which assist parents in doing so promote the socially just goal of affording equal educational opportunity to all.
However, despite this preservation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program, limiting it to the students currently enrolled in the program ultimately does not serve the goal of providing an equal education for all. For while the students currently participating the program will have increased opportunity until their graduation from high school, the next generation of Washington, DC school children will be denied the opportunity that those before them fought so hard to obtain. As such, we urge the President to not only extend the program for those students currently enrolled, but to extend the DC Voucher Program indefinitely, to ensure that as many students as possible, for many years to come, will have the opportunity to attend the best schools that they can.