ON-Lion Letter
Parent and student satisfaction with Washington, D.C.'s, Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) is very high, according to a survey of approximately 100 families participating in the program by the Georgetown Public Policy Institute's School Choice Demonstration Project (SCDP).

"After nearly two years in the OSP, parents by and large are very satisfied with their school choice experiences," according to May 2007's The Evolution of School Choice Consumers:  Parent and Student Voices on the Second Year of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.  Parents and students cited improvements in information sources, financial policies and procedures, and communications between parents and their children, the schools, and the program administrators.

The greatest concern of participating families was that increased earnings might make them ineligible for the program.

The federally funded OSP, now in its fifth year, provides the low-income parents of about 1,700 K-12 students in the city with tuition scholarships worth up to $7,500 for use at 58 participating private, including religious schools.  It needs to be reauthorized by the U.S. Congress either later this or early next year.

The SCDP report was written by Stephen Q. Cornman, Thomas Stewart, and Patrick J. Wolf.  Cornman is an assistant research professor at Georgetown University and administrator of the SCDP.  Stewart is a senior research associate of SCDP and a managing partner of Symphonic Strategies in Washington, D.C.  Wolf, SCDP's principal investigator, is a professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas.

The survey is part of a larger, ongoing evaluation of school choice in Washington.  It was funded by The Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore.

SCDP is also conducting a major, thorough evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP), and it is also affiliated with the University of Arkansas, through which The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee has supported its work on the MPCP.

The Bradley Foundation also supports the Washington Scholarship Foundation, which helps administer the D.C. program.
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