Chairman Chaffetz: A Champion for Students

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Call us crazy, but we think students’ best interests should be at the center of education policy.

Just last week, House Republicans led the effort to continue a school choice program that empowers parents and kids from low income families to achieve a better life through education.

Currently, the District of Columbia (D.C.) spends more per capita on public education than any state in the nation, almost $30,000 a year per student. Despite this heavy investment in public education, D.C. students have one of the worst graduation rates in the country at 64 percent. This is unacceptable.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) is an initiative that has already shown huge success by allowing inner-city, underrepresented youth from low income families to attend high achieving private schools. In a report by the Department of Education it was noted that the program “significantly improved students’ chances of graduating from high school”.

90 percent of OSP students graduate high school and 88 percent go on to some form of higher education, well above the rates for students outside of the program.

It is unfortunate that Democrats have continually stood by programs that have shown to leave our kids, especially those from low income families, struggling to receive a quality education.

We have a choice between two futures and we must continue to challenge the status quo.

Every student is different, and a one size fits all approach to education does not meet the needs of today’s families. The institutions of yesterday will not adequately serve the youth of tomorrow. We have to continue to innovate in all areas of public life, and when we see success in programs like the OSP we must embrace this change and use it to better the lives of the young people throughout our country.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has been a champion for these students.

As the sponsor of the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Reauthorizations Act, H.R. 4901, Chairman Chaffetz has ensured that this program will continue for years to come. This three-sector approach to education, supporting our public schools, charter schools, and the OSP, is transforming the lives of the young people here in D.C. and should be a template for the next generation of education policy.

The fact of the matter is – this program works and these ideas can be implemented in communities all across our country.

We thank Chairman Chaffetz for his advocacy on behalf of our nation’s students and families, and his commitment to finding ways to help all Americans achieve a better life.

For more on this, be sure to catch this video.