U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee Holds Public Hearing at Archbishop Carroll

Present at the hearing were members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). Representatives heard testimony from several witnesses about the Opportunity Scholarship Program, including Senator Tim Scott (R-SC); Dr. Patrick Wolf, Professor and 21st Century Chair in School Choice, College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, as well as parents and students.

Parents, students, stakeholders and community members attended the public hearing, including the entire junior class of Archbishop Carroll. Carroll President Beth Blaufuss said, “We are delighted that this Congressional hearing took place at Archbishop Carroll. It provided a real-world lesson in politics and government, and a rare opportunity.”

Following the hearing, student leaders led tours for visitors throughout the school building.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) provides scholarships to underserved families residing in Washington, D.C. Created in 2004 as part of a city-wide effort to increase educational opportunity in the District, it is the first federally-funded program of its kind. Throughout the years, the program has received bipartisan support from former Mayor Anthony Williams, City Council members, school leaders, the White House, Congress, and the U.S. Department of Education.

In April 2011, Congress passed the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act (SOAR), to extend OSP for five additional years beginning in the 2011-12 school year. Currently, individual scholarship awards are up to $12,572 for high school students and up to $8,381 for elementary and middle school students.

Click on the headlines below to read media coverage of the event:

"Giving kids a chance to succeed" (Washington Times)

"House committee seeks to expand D.C. school choice" (Washington Examiner)

"Congress goes to high school: Students get a firsthand look at debate over school choice" (The Daily Signal)