Rep. Eric Cantor Promotes School Vouchers During Phila. Visit

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — House majority leader Eric Cantor, during a visit to a Philadelphia charter school this morning, called on the US Justice Department to drop its challenge of a Louisiana school voucher program.

Speaking at the Friere Charter School at 20th and Chestnut Streets in center city, Rep. Cantor (R-Va., at left in photo) demanded that the Justice Department drop its lawsuit against a Louisiana program giving school vouchers to low-income students.

“Halting the Louisiana education opportunity program would trap low-income minority kids in failing schools,” he said.  “This is nothing but Washington standing in the schoolhouse door.  And this has got to stop.”

Cantor also said he believed Congress would ultimately enact “full school choice.”  His amendment allowing parents to use federal Title I money at schools of their choice passed the House earlier this year.  He called access to a good education the “greatest civil rights challenge of our time.”

Outside the school,  small group of demonstrators protested Cantor’s visit.  Activist Ron Whitehorne was among them.

“Eric Cantor is a major champion of vouchers and funding charter schools at the expense of public schools,” Whitehorne told KYW Newsradio.

(Public school advocates protest the visit of US House speaker Eric Cantor to Philadelphia.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Public school advocates protest the visit of US House speaker Eric Cantor to Philadelphia. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

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