District of Columbia

Opportunity Scholarship Program

To give parents in the District of Columbia the ability to select the educational setting that best serves their child's interests and needs, the U.S. Congress passed the D.C. School Choice Incentive Act of 2003. This five-year pilot program was part of the omnibus spending bill passed in 2004 and became the first voucher program to be overseen by the U.S. Department of Education. The program is funded separately from District of Columbia public schools, so each year Congress must appropriate funds for it; the number of scholarships available depends on these appropriations. The voucher may be used for tuition, fees, and transportation. Amounts may vary depending on need.