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Politico reports that school choice advocates are flocking to Capitol Hill in hopes of getting federal legislation to promote vouchers. The irony of vouchers is that they have been on state ballots many times but have never won popular approval. Most recently, they were turned down in Florida by a decisive majority, although that didn’t stop the state legislature from pushing vouchers wherever they could get them past the courts. When the Utah legislature passed the nation’s most sweeping voucher bill in 2007, giving vouchers to all students to attend a private or religious school, voters rejected the plan by a 60%+ margin in November 2007. Voucher advocates who paid for the campaign to pass them (led by the CEO of overstock.com) said that the voters were stupid and had failed an I.Q. test.
Nonetheless, expect the Republican Congress to come up with school choice legislation. Will President Obama sign it?
SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK HITS THE HILL: School choice advocates will pack serious star power this morning on Capitol Hill at a gathering celebrating National School Choice Week. House Majority Leader John Boehner is on tap to give the keynote address and Reps. Steve Scalise, John Kline, Todd Rokita and Virginia Foxx as well as Sens.Tim Scott and Ted Cruz are slated to attend. A parent of a D.C. voucher recipient is also scheduled to speak, and organizers expect more than 250 attendees. The event starts at 8:50 a.m ET at the Cannon House Office Building, Room 345.
– Indiana Rep. Luke Messer, who was recently elected to a position in House leadership, is continuing his push on school choice: He’s scheduled to be master of ceremonies at today’s event and is also reintroducing a school choice proposal he put out last year. Vouchers might not fit into the “political reality” of the push to reauthorize No Child Left Behind this year, Messer said Tuesday, but he emphasized that he’s in it for the long haul and that “every idea has its time.” More from Maggie Severns: http://politico.pro/1v0ERc2.