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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4901 – SOAR Reauthorization Act

April 27, 2016


(House Rules)

(Rep. Chaffetz, R-Utah, and 16 cosponsors)

H.R. 4901 would reauthorize the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act, which provides Federal support for improving traditional public schools in the District of Columbia (D.C.), expanding and improving high-quality D.C. public charter schools, and offering private school vouchers to a limited number of students. While the Administration continues to strongly oppose the private school vouchers program within this legislation, known as the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, the Administration will continue to use available SOAR Act funds to support students returning to the program until they complete school, so that their education is not disrupted.

Rigorous evaluation over several years demonstrates that D.C. vouchers have not yielded statistically significant improvements in student achievement by scholarship recipients compared to other students not receiving vouchers. In addition, H.R. 4901 would extend this voucher program to students already attending private schools, thereby replacing existing private resources with public ones. As a matter of public policy, the Administration remains focused on the changes needed to make the greatest impact on student outcomes in the Nation's public education system. Instead of using Federal resources to support a handful of students in private schools, the Federal Government should focus its attention and available resources on improving the quality of public schools for all students.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4901 – SOAR Reauthorization Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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