AFC Applauds U.S. Department of Education Choice for New OSP Administrator

The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, today applauded the decision by the U.S. Department of Education to award the contract for managing the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) to Serving our Children, a DC-based 501(c)(3) organization.
Serving our Children is uniquely qualified to administer the OSP with a board that is led by AFC Executive Counsel and former D.C. City Councilman Kevin Chavous and includes former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, and has a highly experienced staff.
“This is great day for the DC OSP, for currently participating children, and those low-income families in the District of Columbia seeking entry into this highly successful program,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman forAmerican Federation of Children. “AFC has been a longtime advocate of this important program, working closely with the program administrators and congressional supporters on behalf of D.C. families. We wish to thank the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation for their work in administering the program over these last several years.”
The OSP is a tremendous example of funding what works in education. The program has been an educational lifeline for 6,000 children from very low-income District of Columbia families and more than 14,000 have applied to participate since the program began in the 2004-2005 school year.

  • The average income for participating families is less than $21,000 per year;
  • Nearly all of the participating children would otherwise be zoned for a school in need of improvement according to federal standards;
  • 85 percent of participating children are African-American and 13 percent are Hispanic;
  • More than 92 percent of current families are satisfied with the program.

Educational outcomes for participating children in the OSP are significantly higher than D.C. public schools. According to the last U.S. Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences report (2010), 91 percent of children who used their opportunity scholarships graduated from high school, 21 percent higher than those who were offered, but did not receive a scholarship. More recent data compiled by the OSP administrator shows an average OSP graduation rate of better than 90 percent and a college enrollment rate of nearly 90 percent since 2010.

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