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Government and People
PRESIDENT USES A D.C. CHARTER SCHOOL TO MAKE A PITCH FOR VOUCHERS ONLY
Washington DC- The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) issued the following statement in response to the President's visit to a D.C. charter school today:
"President Bush came to KIPP Academy, a public charter in the District, effusively congratulated the school, and then used the school as the backdrop to support vouchers for private schools. In a completely misleading reference, he referred to $320 million nationwide for charter schools that annually funds a provision that has been a part of federal law for almost 10 years and from which D.C. gets its formula share like every district. This, of course, is not special D.C. money. Unlike the proposed D.C. voucher money, the nationwide federal appropriation has nothing in common with the $10 million the House is contemplating for vouchers only, or with extra money for charter and transformation schools that the Mayor and Council Member Chavous have requested. The President spoke only of the $75 million he has always had in his '04 budget for voucher experiments for eight districts. He mentioned no funds for public schools like the charter school where he spoke this morning. Further, the President knows - or his lawyers do- that parochial schools cannot be held to "the same accountability system," as he indicated, without violating the First Amendment separation of church and state that no religion is free to give to the state. Today, the President made no attempt to obscure the purpose of his visit--to support money for D.C. vouchers and for D.C. vouchers only."
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