NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

THE SIDWELL CHOICE: THE OBAMA FAMILY LEADS BY EXAMPLE

November 24, 2008

Michelle and Barack Obama have settled on a Washington, D.C., school for their daughters, and you will not be surprised to learn it is not a public institution, says the Wall Street Journal.  Malia, age 10, and seven-year-old Sasha will attend the Sidwell Friends School, the private academy that educates the children of much of Washington's elite.

  • Vice President-elect Joe Biden's grandchildren attend Sidwell -- as did Chelsea Clinton -- where tuition is close to $30,000 a year.
  • The Obama girls have been students at the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where tuition runs above $21,000.

"A number of great schools were considered," said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama.  "In the end, the Obamas selected the school that was the best fit for what their daughters need right now."

Note the word "selected," as in made a choice, says the Journal.  The Obamas are fortunate to have the means to send their daughters to private school, and no one begrudges them that choice given that Washington's public schools are among the worst in America.

Most D.C. parents would also love to be able to choose a better school for their child, but they lack the financial means to do so, says the Journal:

  • The Washington Opportunity Scholarship Program each year offers up to $7,500 to some 1,900 kids to attend private schools, but Democrats in Congress want to kill it.
  • Average family income for kids in the voucher program is about $22,000.

President-elect Barack Obama says he opposes such vouchers, because "although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you're going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom."  The example of his own children refutes that: The current system offers plenty of choice to kids "at the top" while abandoning those at the bottom, says the Journal.

Source: Editorial, "The Sidwell Choice: The Obama family leads by example," Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2008.

For text:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122748801490451927.html

 

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