Congressional backers of the District’s private school vouchers said Monday that they had struck a deal with the Obama administration to keep money and students flowing into the controversial program.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), the authors of legislation that reauthorized and expanded the Opportunity Scholarship Program, said they had reached an agreement with the White House to ensure that enrollment in the program can grow and that parents can apply to have their children stay in or join the program and get a response as soon as possible.
“I’m pleased that an agreement has been reached to expand the program, consistent with the law already on the books,” Boehner said, praising the scholarships as “both effective and cost-effective.”
Although many Democrats oppose the scholarship program, President Obama agreed to sign Boehner and Lieberman’s legislation in April of last year as part of a broader budget deal. But supporters of the vouchers have complained that the administration was trying to undermine the program, particularly because Obama did not request any funding for the scholarships in his fiscal 2013 budget. Boehner and others accused the administration of improperly limiting enrollment and diverting leftover money in the program to other purposes.