AFC Applauds Introduction of DC OSP Reauthorization Bill

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, today applauded the introduction of HR 10, legislation to formally reauthorize the Washington, D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DC OSP) for another five years.

“This successful initiative has been an educational lifeline for more than 6,200 children from low-income District of Columbia families who were fortunate enough to receive scholarships since the DC OSP began in the 2004-2005 school year,” said John Schilling, Chief Operating Officer of the American Federation for Children. “The DC OSP is an example of funding what works in education. With a graduation rate above 90 percent and nearly 90 of those graduates enrolling in college, we know this program works and it should be reauthorized quickly.”

Since the DC OSP began in the 2004-2005 school year, more than 16,000 families have applied to participate, which demonstrates both the strong demand for parental choice and strong support for the OSP among District residents. Recently, the U.S. Department of Education selected Serving our Children to be the new administrator for the program. Serving our Children is committed to effective program oversight, working closely with the Department of Education and Congress, and growing the program so that more D.C. families can benefit.

The DC OSP has a proven track record of helping those families most in need. 98 percent of participants would otherwise be zoned for a failing school; more than 97 percent of students are African-American and Hispanic; and the average family income of program participants is less than $22,000 per year. The DC OSP also enjoys strong support among city residents as a necessary educational option for District families.

The Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act of 2015 (HR 10) has bipartisan support led by Speaker John Boehner (OH-8th), Rep. Jason Chaffetz (CO-3rd), Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3rd), Rep. John Kline (MN-2nd), Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11th), Rep. Luke Messer (IN–6th), and Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-4th).

“We want to once again thank Speaker Boehner for his steadfast leadership in championing the Opportunity Scholarship Program for the past 11 years,” said Betsy DeVos, Chairman of the American Federation for Children.  “We are also thankful that the DC OSP has many strong and longtime supporters in Congress and we look forward to working with Congress to ensure this tremendous program continues to bring hope, opportunity, and positive results for children in Washington, D.C.

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American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.