After Katrina, Bush pushes school vouchers

Church-state separation groups charge political opportunism
In Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, President Bush may be able to push through Congress a pet project that has been stymied for four years now—a wide-ranging federal school voucher program.

Just a day after Bush presented an overview of hurricane-recovery efforts for the Gulf Coast on September 15, education secretary Margaret Spellings announced that part of the money earmarked for schools would go to subsidizing private-school tuition for families evacuated from the region.

Spellings initially said that $488 million would be allocated for the program. New details released September 19 clarified that that figure was an estimate, based on the fact that 61,000 children in the New Orleans area had attended private schools prior to the evacuation. In reality, vouchers of up to $7,500 per student would be available to any evacuee family.

 

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