FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Erica Toliver
August 2, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 939-1388
Students selected by lottery out of more than 1,300 applicants
Washington – The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (the Trust) announced today that 299 children in the District of Columbia have been awarded new scholarships for the 2012-13 school year through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP). Entering its ninth year, the program gives federally funded scholarships to youth from low-income families in grades K-12 to attend participating private schools in the District. The Trust collected more than 1,300 applications from children applying for new scholarships, of which a total of 505 eligible students were entered into a lottery.
Recipients will receive awards up to $12,205 for high school and up to $8,136 for elementary and middle school to pay for tuition and fees at participating D.C. private schools.
Of the students awarded new scholarships, 75 percent previously attended a public or public charter school designated as “in need of improvement.” In addition, 77 percent of new awardees come from households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps).
Under the federal law governing the program, students in public schools with the “in need of improvement” designation were given the highest priority. Eligible public school students who did not receive scholarships will become part of a control group in the federally mandated evaluation of the program led for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences by a team of researchers from Westat Corporation.
“The Trust welcomes the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program’s newest students,” said Robert C. Bobb, chairman of the Trust’s board of directors. “We look forward to continuing to serve as a meaningful resource for improving the lives of children and families in the District.”
The OSP—which was reauthorized and expanded in 2011—was founded on the belief that all three education sectors (public schools, public charter schools and nonpublic schools) could offer quality education experiences for the District’s students. The Trust became the administrator of the program in June 2010. The scholarships cover most or all educational expenses, and the program is open to students from District families that receive SNAP benefits or earn at or below 185 percent of the poverty line ($42,643 for a family of four in 2012).
Since the program’s inception, more than 5,200 children in District have benefited from scholarships. A 2010 federal study of the program indicated that parents who utilize scholarships to send their children to private schools were overwhelmingly satisfied with their choices and that the offer of an OSP scholarship raised students’ likelihood of completing high school by 12 percentage points.
For more details, please visit www.dcscholarships.org.
The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation is the primary resource for developing partnerships that expand and improve services and opportunities for children and youth in the District of Columbia, especially during their time out of school. The partnerships include public schools, city agencies and employers, including non-profit providers. Since its inception in 1999, the Trust has provided grants, technical assistance, youth worker training, capacity building, learning opportunities, convenings and policy support in the District. For more information, visit www.cyitc.org.