Senator Lankford Recognizes School Choice Anniversary

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today recognized the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program through the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act, which was introduced in 2011 when Lankford served in the US House of Representatives. Because Congress has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia and its funding allocations, the DC Opportunity Scholarships provided Congress a way to invest in school choice and utilize those results to better inform school-choice possibilities for districts around the nation.

“For 15 years, Opportunity Scholarships have provided DC parents with the option to send students to the best schools that meet their children’s needs, whether public, private charter, or private,” said Lankford. “Attaching funding to each individual student has shown improvement across all types of schools in DC and has demonstrated the success of providing choices to parents for their children’s education. Options should be considered for parents and students across the nation to help students gain access to the best classrooms that help them succeed.”

The Opportunity Scholarship Program is a key part of a three-part approach to improve education in the District of Columbia. Under the SOAR Act, equal funds must be appropriated for public schools, public charter schools, and opportunity scholarships. Opportunity Scholarships allow low-income families the opportunity to send their children to a participating DC private school of their choice.

Lankford serves as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management and also serves on the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, both of which have jurisdiction over DC.