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Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Neglects Opportunity Scholarships

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Program Has Given 6,000 Low-Income D.C. Students Access to Education

Press Release
Washington, D.C.
February 3, 2015

The Obama administration’s FY2016 budget once again fails to recognize the importance of parent choice in giving low-income D.C. families access to excellent education options, allocating just enough funding to cover administrative costs for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DC OSP).

“It’s inexcusable that the proven benefits of this program for students and parents are still being ignored, and just days after a school choice rally on Capitol Hill and new research that reveals DC OSP parents are empowered by this program,” said Kara Kerwin, president of The Center for Education Reform.

Nearly 6,000 students have been awarded scholarships through the DC OSP since its inception, and approximately 90 percent of DC OSP high school seniors go on to attend two-year and four-year colleges.

More than 1,700 new DC OSP applications were received for the 2014-15 school year, with 285 new scholarships being awarded via a lottery.

“Opportunity Scholarships are a lifeline for some of the neediest students in our nation’s capital,” said Kerwin. “The demand for this program is clear from the numbers alone. Parents want, and deserve, this choice for their children.”

“If anything there should be more resources going to a program that’s proving its power,” continued Kerwin. “It’s critical Congress acts to ensure the DC OSP remains a viable option for low-income families.”

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