The Children's Scholarship Fund and the Girard Foundation announced matching grants totaling $750,000 to provide partial four-year scholarships to 160 children from low-income families, enabling the children to attend the private schools of their choice. The scholarships, which will begin in September 2002, will be offered through a random drawing to San Diego County families with children in grades K-8.
Any family whose children reside in the County of San Diego is eligible to apply for the random drawing by sending a postcard or letter sent to the office of the Los Angeles Children's Scholarship Fund (LACSF). The selected families will be notified in February. Scholarships will be awarded on a "first come" basis, depending on receipt of documents confirming household income and enrollment in a specific private school. The postcard should have contact information, as well as the names and grades of their children. Parents may also register on the Internet as well.
"Low-income" is roughly defined by the LACSF by the same criteria as the federal lunch program. Families must pay a minimum of $500 and the scholarships will be, depending on income and the number of persons in a household, at either 25%, 50%, or 75% of tuition with a scholarship cap of $1,775. The average scholarship nationally is about $1,100. Siblings are eligible as well.
The Children's Scholarship Fund currently operates in 38 locations throughout the United States. "Our grant was made to bring this extremely successful program to San Diego County," said R.B. Woolley, President of the Girard Foundation, which supports a wide range of innovative programs for K-12 education in the area. "This grant will provide an option to low-income parents who desire to have a choice in the provider of their children's education," added Mr. Woolley.
Michael Warder, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Children's Scholarship Fund, added that "I am absolutely delighted to work with the Girard Foundation to help these families have an option that now is beyond their reach. We are looking for additional partners so as to extend an expand the program in San Diego County as well as other communities in Southern California."
The Children's Scholarship Fund (CSF), based in New York City, was founded in 1999 with a $100,000,000 grant from John Walton and Ted Forstman to provide matching four-year scholarships for 40,000 children from low-income families who wanted to send their children to private school. There were 1.25 million applicants nationwide. CSF now offers a 100% match to donors who wish to extend children currently on scholarships beyond the four years and a 50% match to donors who wish to expand the current pool of recipients.
San Diego County parents should send their postcards or letters to: Department SD, Los Angeles Children's Scholarship Fund, 1650 Ximeno ave., # 245, Long Beach, CA 90804.
Parents may also register on via the Internet at: www.scholarshipfund.org/update/SD.html.