Departments

Philanthropy

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

Private Scholarships: The Children's Scholarship Fund aims to fill every empty seat in New York City's more than 900 independent private and parochial schools next year, with the addition of $50 million to its project to aid 7,500 poor students in grades K-8.

Theodore J. Forstmann, the fund's chief executive officer and the Wall Street financier who co-founded the organization with philanthropist John Walton, unveiled the expansion of the 2-year-old, privately supported national program last month.

"In almost every area of life, we trust competition to increase quality," Mr. Forstmann said in a statement. "In America, consumers are free to choose among a multitude of suppliers, and suppliers must compete for their business. The same should be true of education."

The expansion was set in motion by the demand for the four-year scholarships, said Darla M. Romfo, the president of the New York City-based fund. Last year, some 1.25 million families applied for the voucher-style grants nationwide, but the fund was able to provide for only 40,000 students, at a cost of $160 million, she said. The fund awarded 2,000 scholarships to students in New York City last year, out of more than 170,000 applicants.

The 7,500 recipients of the new round of New York City scholarships will be randomly chosen out of last year's applicant pool, Ms. Romfo said. Currently, the fund has 421 private and parochial school partners in the city.

As in the national program, families must apply for the scholarships—which average $1,300 per year—and are required to make a minimum contribution of $500 to the cost of tuition, Ms. Romfo said. Families select the schools their children will attend.

The expansion of the program was limited to New York City because it would be easiest to implement and monitor, Ms. Romfo said.

The Children's Scholarship Fund has "had a phenomenal impact on the school choice movement," said Fritz S. Steiger, the president of Children First CEO America, an organization based in Bentonville, Ark., that aids voucher programs and is pushing for publicly financed vouchers. The fund has generated substantial media attention and made it easier for people of all political backgrounds to support school choice, he said. Still, Mr. Steiger added, the fund's effort is "a drop in the bucket."

"It is great to help children and bring more attention to the issue ... but the question is whether or not it can bring to New York City systematic change," he said.

—Julie Blair [email protected]

Vol. 19, Issue 39, Page 13

Published in Print: June 7, 2000, as Philanthropy
Related Stories

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >