I spend an enormous amount of time thinking (and worrying) about the children of Washington, D.C. Advocating for quality educational opportunities for them has been a priority in my life since the late 1990s.

With Speaker John Boehner’s announcement of his decision to step down, I automatically began to reflect on the 10-plus years we have fought to make sure the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program continues to help D.C.’s children receive the education they deserve.

Then with the announcement of the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act, which reauthorizes the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program through 2021, I began to think about the impact this program has made on the families I love and how important it is to continue to have options available for their children in the future.

I’ve often talked about Carlos and Calvin Battle, whose mother reports to me regularly on their successes in the colleges they chose. I’ve also talked about Jordan White, who is having an incredible experience as a translator for a Japanese company, living in Japan, and Tiffany Dunston, working on her Ph.D. in bio chemistry. All of these young people received D.C. Opportunity Scholarships and as a result, were able to be enrolled in private schools in D.C. that nurtured and prepared them to succeed in college and in life.

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program has been an educational lifeline for these children and their families. It’s incredibly vital that other families have this option as their children continue on their journey toward the best future and the best life possible. I hope Congress agrees with me.