AFC's statement on Speaker Boehner's retirement from Congress
Today, the American Federation for Children issued the following statement in response to Speaker John Boehner’s announcement that he will retire from Congress in October.
“I wish to thank Speaker John Boehner for his many years of dedicated service to our nation and, in particular, for his tireless efforts to improve K-12 education in America for all children,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “From his days as chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to his time as Speaker of the House, Speaker Boehner has been a true champion for school choice, fighting to ensure that children in low-income families could get access to a quality education. While he has many accomplishments, a lasting and important part of Speaker Boehner’s legacy will be the thousands of lives he helped change for the better through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DC OSP). His efforts offered real hope and opportunity to children in low-income D.C. families who would have otherwise been trapped in schools that failed to meet their needs.”
“In 2003, as a member of the D.C. City Council, I worked with Mayor Tony Williams and Congress to enact the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program,” said Kevin P. Chavous, executive counsel to the American Federation for Children. “Over the 11 years of this incredible program, John Boehner has been our champion. He stuck with these kids and their families through thick and thin, and when he had his chance, he made sure this life-changing program would be reauthorized and fully funded. Speaker Boehner will always be remembered by the residents of D.C. for his kindness, leadership and willingness to challenge the status quo and fight to ensure low-income families have more access to quality educational options.”
The DC OSP is an example of funding what works in education. More than 90 percent of students participating in the OSP graduate high school – a rate more than 30 percent higher than students in traditional D.C. public schools – and nearly 90 percent of those graduates enroll in college. The average household income for a family participating in the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is $20,575 and 97.4 percent of all participants are African American or Hispanic.
In January 2015, Speaker Boehner served as the keynote at the DC National School Choice Week celebration on Capitol Hill, once again demonstrating his support and commitment to school choice in D.C. and across America.
American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.