Amendment provides scholarships for low-income children in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON – Today the House of Representatives passed an amendment to H.R. 2675, the District of Columbia Appropriations Act that authorizes funding for a D.C. scholarship program. The amendment, introduced by House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA), provides private school tuition scholarships of up to $7,500 to low-income children in the District of Columbia.

"This legislation clearly indicates, the school choice movement to enable more parents, particularly low-income parents, to choose the schools their children attend continues to gain ground," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "By providing scholarship opportunities low-income students, the D.C. Parental Choice Incentive Act guarantees for low-income students an opportunity to choose which elementary or secondary schools they attend."

The legislation provides low-income parents residing in the District of Columbia with scholarships to be used for enrolling their children in higher-performing schools in the District. The scholarships these students receive can be used to pay for transportation, fees, and tuition costs. However, it is unfortunate that only students that reside in the District are eligible to receive these scholarships.

To be eligible to receive these scholarships, a student\’s family income cannot exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The legislation ensures that priority is given to programs that provide the widest variety of educational options to children of various ages and grade levels. In addition, schools participating in the program may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin or gender.

"The House of Representatives create a better atmosphere for learning to students living in the District of Columbia today by voting to provide scholarships," said Norquist. "It is long past time for the students of Washington, D.C. to enjoy the same schools where the members of Congress send their children."