ON-Lion Letter
For the fourth straight academic year, a record number of low-income families in the District of Columbia are participating in the federally funded D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), the Washington Scholarship Fund (WSF) announced in late September.  WSF administers the OSP.

The OSP is funding 1,903 students, a 5.5% increase over the previous year.  They are attending 54 private, including religious, schools in the city.  The program provides eligible parents with vouchers worth up to $7,500 per year to cover tuition, transportation, and school fees.  It received $12.1 million in federal funding this year.

To be eligible, participating families' annual household incomes must be below 185% of the federal poverty line, which is $38,203 for a family of four.  On average, however, the families' incomes are actually $22,963, according to WSF.

"The increasing popularity of this program is a clear indication of how much these families need the opportunity to select the academic environment that best suits their children," said Joseph E. Robert, Jr., chairman of WSF's board of directors. "If you give parents a choice, they will seek out the schools that give their children the best chance of excelling, graduating and eventually furthering their educations in college."

On October 22, WSF will begin accepting 2008-09 OSP applications from families with children who are currently attending a D.C. public school and will be entering kindergarten through seventh grade in 2008-09.  There are currently more than 400 families on WSF's OSP waiting list.  Families that are interested in applying should call 1-888-DC-YOUTH.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports WSF.
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