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Posts Tagged ‘Opportunity Scholarships’
June 20th, 2012 at 1:45 pm
Federal Government Creating Green Jobs … at $12 Million a Pop
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Further evidence that the Obama Administration’s green jobs fetish defies all logic, economic or otherwise, comes from this report from CNS News:

An Obama administration green jobs grant program that spent $11 billion lacks a verifiable job-counting system and likely created only a fraction of the jobs it claims, according to a staff report by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

While Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the grants “created tens of thousands of jobs,” the government’s own National Renewal Energy Laboratory estimates it created 910 direct jobs.

The House report criticized even those numbers, saying: “The job creation numbers that exist for Section 1603 are based on models, not actual data from completed projects. Neither Treasury nor DOE have turned over actual jobs data on the Section 1603 grants program to the committee.”

In the spirit of generosity, let’s assume the 910 number is correct. At $11 billion, that comes out to well over $12 million per job. A ludicrous amount to be sure, but also one that comes with an enormous opportunity cost. Scroll down the page to Ashton’s post on the cost-effectiveness of Washington D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarship program and you’ll find that the whole thing (which the Obama Administration has consistently targeted for elimination) could be funded at the cost of less than two of those green jobs.

The character of this administration can be defined by its priorities. Does anything more need to be said than that they would rather slip millions of taxpayer dollars to tech firms who haven’t so much as worked up a business model than to poor children in the inner city? Hope indeed.

June 19th, 2012 at 1:41 pm
Graph: DC School Choice Saves Money

Finally, an election evolution that puts President Barack Obama on the side of the angels.

From the Washington Post:

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.”

How cost-effective?  The price of a D.C. Opportunity Scholarship is $8,000 per year.  The cost of educating the same child in the D.C. public school system is $18,000 per year.

Here’s a Heritage Foundation graph showing how much the D.C. school voucher program costs federal taxpayers:

http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/DCOSP-Chart.jpg

So, not only are kids receiving D.C. school vouchers getting the education their parents want; they’re doing it for less than half of what it would cost if the vouchers didn’t exist.

Let’s hope President Obama evolves to the point where every D.C. child gets an Opportunity Scholarship.  They – and the taxpayers – will be better off.

February 14th, 2012 at 3:07 pm
Obama Budget Looks to Kill School Choice in Washington D.C.
Posted by Troy Senik Print

If there’s one controlling lesson after three years of the Obama Administration, it’s this: watch what he does, not what he says.

For all of his pieities about being a serious education reformer, Obama has time and again cast his lot with the liberal teachers unions that are perhaps the biggest threat to opportunity for the nation’s underprivileged children. This trend showed up early in his presidency, when he attempted to bleed Washington D.C.’s school voucher program by prohibiting new entrants. Apparently, hope and change wasn’t an offer for poor, overwhelmingly minority students in some of the nation’s worst schools.

Thanks to the efforts of Republicans in Congress, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is back in action. But under President Obama’s new budget proposal released yesterday, it would be zeroed out. What makes clear that this is a shameless gift to special interests is how decisively the facts weigh in favor of the program. Consider this, from the Heritage Foundation’s Lindsey Burke:

The D.C. OSP has been highly successful. According to federally-mandated evaluations of the program, student achievement has increased, and graduation rates of voucher students have increased significantly. While graduation rates in D.C. Public Schools hover around 55 percent, students who used a voucher to attend private school had a 91 percent graduation rate.

And at $8,000, the vouchers are a bargain compared to the estimated $18,000 spent per child by D.C. Public Schools.

Better outcomes at lower costs. A new generation of young minority students who don’t believe that life ends at 18. And the first reaction of the President of the United States is to see how fast this innovation can be smothered. Many of Obama’s positions can be challenged on the grounds of incorrectness or imprudence. This one, however, deserves disdain for its rank inhumanity.