Published January 09, 2010
A conservative group is taking second lady Jill Biden to task for stating that she did not have a position on the elimination of a voucher program that pays for low-income children to attend private school in Washington.
Americans for Limited Government, which supports the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, highlighted Biden's background as a public school teacher and professor for nearly 30 years and her role as the administration's top spokeswoman for education policy in its criticism of her stance.
It is "simply inexcusable that Dr. Biden, a prominent education policy spokesperson for the White House, is completely ignorant of the elimination of the D.C. school choice program," ALG President Bill Wilson said in a written statement this week.
"It was her boss who scuttled the program -- while sending his own children to private schools, of course," he said.
Biden's spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment, telling FoxNews.com that it was a bad time for the family in the wake of the death Friday of Vice President Biden's mother.
The group posted a video of Jill Biden on its Web site admitting that she had not "followed" the elimination of the program while promoting a national education initiative on behalf of the Obama administration at a high school in Washington.
"You know, I really haven't followed it," Biden said when asked if she supported the program's elimination. "I've been really busy."
Congress eliminated the program when Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., whose children attend private school, slipped an amendment into a $410 billion omnibus spending bill.
The amendment infuriated parents who say the vouchers have raised performance and rescued students from one the country's worst public school systems.
Opponents of the voucher program worry that it draws money way from the public schools.
Obama agreed to extend the program last year until current enrolled students graduate -- a move that funds the program $12 million in this school year and keeps the vouchers running until the 1,700 children currently in the pilot program complete their studies.
"Parents have a right to choose which school they want to send their children to, and Dr. Biden, a prominent education policy spokesperson for the White House, has not even taken the time to follow the elimination of a program that helped needy D.C. students to get a better education," Wilson said.