According to an Alliance for School Choice press release:
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) today unveiled a bipartisan reauthorization bill for the D.C. school voucher program. Lieberman, along with Susan Collins (R-ME) and four other senators, introduced legislation this morning to reauthorize and strengthen the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) for five years…
Under Senator Lieberman’s bill, the program would be preserved and strengthened significantly. The Lieberman bill would increase scholarship amounts to $9,000 for K-8 students and $11,000 for high school studentsindexing the scholarship amounts to inflation. While these amounts remain significantly below the amounts for the D.C. Public Schools, they provide the necessary increases to account for inflation over the past five years.
The bill would also:
–Give scholarship priority to siblings of students who currently participate in the program
–Require participating schools to have a valid certificate of occupancy
–Require teachers of core subject matters to have bachelor’s degrees
–Require an Institute of Education Sciences annual evaluation of the program
–Require students to take nationally norm-referenced tests
I hear that this bill addresses all of the issues raised by Senator Durbin’s bill without any of the program-killing provisions. If Durbin is really motivated by the concerns he has expressed, such as teachers having bachelors degrees and schools reporting test results, we may be getting close to a compromise. Of course, that is a big IF.