Private and Parochial Schools Not Invited to White House Easter Egg Roll

Secretary Arne Duncan presented District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty with an Easter basket filled with 3,000 tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll. There was one catch: don’t give them to private or parochial school students.

And homeschoolers, don’t even think about it. You get the lottery like everyone else.

Oh, and the lottery is already closed:

The 3,000 reserved tickets will be distributed to students at 11 public schools in D.C. and a few others in Virginia and Maryland. Children at private or parochial schools in the Washington metropolitan area may attend the April 5 event, but only if they are among the people who registered for an online lottery system, by which the remaining free tickets — an estimated 27,000 — will be distributed.

That lottery is now closed, however. “All entries will have an equal chance of being selected if your application was submitted by Sunday, February 28,” the White House Web site says. Lottery results were announced on March 4.

The father of a parochial school student, Robert Brannum, makes a very good point:

“The White House is a public building,” Brannum said. “The tickets are essentially being paid for with public dollars. So it should be open to everyone, not just going to select categories of students.”

Brannum said he not only supports D.C. public schools, he attended and taught at those schools. But, he added, “There are students in the District of Columbia who attend private schools, parochial schools, or even (are) home schooled, and their parents pay taxes and they should be able to participate in some of the benefits of being citizens of the District of Columbia.”

Here’s the rub: this administration doesn’t think much of private schools. If they did, they wouldn’t have scrapped a voucher program that took public school students out of failing public schools and put them in private schools, where they were performing higher than their public school peers.

At least those kids now get a shot at coming to the White House and chasing eggs.

Cross posted at All American Blogger. Stop by and check out our other great original articles. While you are there, sign up for a free subscription. Also, you can follow me on Twitter and go ahead and friend me on Facebook. All American Blogger’s fan page is here.

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