Obama Blinks on Vouchers?

A mostly political weblog.
March 5 2009 3:44 AM

Obama Blinks on Vouchers?

Will Congressional Democrats kill the D.C. voucher program? It's William McGurn's skillful deployment of victims  vs. Democratic dogma--and I think the Obama administration just blinked , at least a bit.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday that poor children getting vouchers to attend private schools in the District of Columbia should be allowed to stay there, putting the Obama administration at odds with Democrats trying to end the program.

Duncan opposes vouchers, he said in an interview with The Associated Press. But he said Washington is a special case, and kids already in private schools on the public dime should be allowed to continue.

"I don't think it makes sense to take kids out of a school where they're happy and safe and satisfied and learning," Duncan told said. "I think those kids need to stay in their school."

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Eduwonk has  context and perspective --noting that even in D.C. vouchers aren't where the action is. ("[I]t's the public charters not the vouchers that are taking over.") ... Update: Edspresso   isn't impressed .  ...  P.S.: Of course, McGurn is working the Take Away Rule , which holds that it's always harder for politicians to take something away from someone than it is to not give it to them in the first place. In the vast majority of circumstances, this principle favors government-expanding liberals, since it makes any federal spending near-impossible to cut (especially if there are telegenic victims, as here). It's what will make Pelosi's "temporary" stimulus spending permanent. I don't blame McGurn for turning this powerful weapon against Democrats. Still, it would overwhlemingly be in conservatives' interest if the weapon no longer worked. That's obviously not the case. ... 12:51 P.M.

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