What: All Issues : Education, Humanities, & the Arts : Funding for Vouchers for Private Schools : H.R. 2765. Fiscal 2004 District of Columbia Appropriations/Vote on Final Passage of a Spending Bill Which Would Fund Public Services in Washington, D.C. and Create a $10 Million Private School Voucher Program for DC Students.
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H.R. 2765. Fiscal 2004 District of Columbia Appropriations/Vote on Final Passage of a Spending Bill Which Would Fund Public Services in Washington, D.C. and Create a $10 Million Private School Voucher Program for DC Students.
house Roll Call 491     Sep 09, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

The subject of this vote was final passage of the $7.9 billion District of Columbia appropriation bill, a spending bill which would fund public services, programs, and government agencies benefiting the residents of Washington, D.C during 2004. Progressives voted against final passage based on their objections to provisions in the underlying bill which would create a $10 million private school voucher program in Washington, D.C. In the view of Progressives, private school vouchers are not a long-term fix to problems in the nation's public education system. In fact, they argued, vouchers would drain money that would otherwise be available to improve public schools. Additionally, Progressives argued, private school vouchers would benefit only a small minority of public school students and, furthermore, the $7500 voucher per eligible student would cover only a fraction of private school tuition costs for that student (private school tuition often exceeds $20,000 per year). Thus, the families of low-income students, even if they qualified for the voucher, would still be burdened with private school tuition costs. Progressives contended that students from middle and high-income families-and not students from lower-income families whom vouchers ostensibly target-would be the main beneficiaries of private school vouchers. Conservatives supported the private school voucher plan and voted in favor of final passage. In the view of Conservatives, private school vouchers can improve educational opportunities for those students who are stuck in poor public schools but who would be able to attend private schools if a voucher program were enacted. DC schools, Conservatives pointed out, rank among the worst in the nation in terms of test scores, funding per pupil, and class size. On a close vote of 210-206, the 2004 DC appropriations bill, which included the contested private school voucher program, was adopted. hey

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