D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program

Program Information

  • V
  • Program Type: Voucher Program, Means Tested

Student Participation

  • Student must qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program ($46,435 for a family of four in 2018) or have participated in the program in the preceding year and have a family income of up to 300% of the federal poverty guidelines ($75,300 for a family of four in 2018)
  • Priority given to students who attend a school identified as one of the lowest-performing schools under the District of Columbia accountability system, were awarded a scholarship in the preceding year, or have a sibling participating in the program
  • Students from low-income families in other public schools are also eligible
  • Students currently attending private school are also eligible
  • Evaluation participants may be required to take the annual assessment taken by D.C. Public School students
    • Cooperate with the congressionally mandated independent evaluation
  • Not discriminate against program participants or applicants on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion or sex
  • Comply with district health and safety codes
  • Maintain a valid certificate of occupancy
  • Require teachers in core subjects to have a bachelor’s degree
  • Conduct criminal background checks on school employees who have direct and unsupervised interaction with students
  • Comply with standards prescribed under the District of Columbia compulsory school attendance laws
  • Allow site visits by the administering program entity
  • Administer the same annual assessments taken by D.C. Public School Students
  • Submit proof of financial sustainability for schools in operation for five years or less
  • Have financial systems in place to ensure that funds are used appropriately
  • Schools that participated in the program prior to May 2017 and are not fully accredited must pursue full accreditation within one year and receive accreditation within five years of starting the process; new schools must be fully accredited for participation

Data Update

Schools Participating
2017 Expenditures


Scholarship Cap
- $8,653 (grades K-8)
- $12,981 (grades 9-12)
Enrollment Cap
- None
Program Funding
- $20 million authorized