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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2007

Independent Scholarship Fund Offers Displaced East Bay Students Opportunity for Private/Parochial Education
East Bay Students Granted Over 1400 Scholarships Since 1999


OAKLAND, Calif., April 17, 2007—Faced with the closure this June of four public schools, hundreds of Oakland families have been left wondering where their children will go to school in the fall. Now, those families have an opportunity to apply for privately funded tuition scholarships, allowing their children to attend private or parochial schools of their choice for the 2007–2008 school year, through the Independent Scholarship Fund (ISF).

Students from low– to moderate–income homes in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, grades K–12, are invited to apply to the Independent Scholarship Fund (ISF) for assistance with tuition payments—based on personal merit and family need. The application deadline is May 4, 2007.

“The ISF offers a choice, an alternative, for families in the East Bay who want their children to receive the kind of quality education in a safe environment that has traditionally remained out of reach.” said David J. Theroux, founder and president of the Oakland–based Independent Institute, which created the scholarship program.

Since 1999, the ISF has granted over 1,400 scholarships to children whose families sought help in sending them to private schools of their choice. The Independent Institute, which administers the program, relies on generous donations from a wide range of local foundations and individuals dedicated to improving youth education. The Fund granted 100 scholarships last year; it expects to award more than at least 100 scholarships for the 2007–2008 school year. Current recipients attend 45 diverse schools—including 28 schools in Alameda County and 17 schools in Contra Costa County.

ISF scholarships pay up to 75 percent of the cost of a student’s tuition, up to $1,500 each school year. Parents are responsible for the remaining portion—a proviso that encourages positive parental involvement in their child’s education, according to Mr. Theroux.

“National data indicate that dollar–for–dollar private schools are more productive than their public counterparts,” Mr. Theroux said. “The well–documented benefits of increased competition between public and private schools reinforce our commitment to improving access to high–quality education for young people in the East Bay. The continued growth of this program will enable more families of modest means to choose the best education for their children.”

To obtain a scholarship application and for further information about the ISF, please see:

http://www.independent.org/students/isf/.

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