Faced with its biennial reauthorization, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program stands in need of a budget increase to serve the needs of a growing list of students seeking escape from poorly performing D.C. public schools.
As of spring 2019, the program which serves as D.C.’s only school choice program and targets students from low-income households, boasted 1,645 participating students from 46 schools.
However, in order to accommodate a waiting list of thousands more students, the program’s current budget needs to increase by $7 million, according to education researcher Jude Schwalbach of The Heritage Foundation.
Meanwhile, as D.C. public schools reportedly face a $23 million deficit with an annual budget of $900 million, a 2018 survey showed that ranked 49th behind Louisiana and New Mexico, D.C. has the worst dropout rate in the country.