Children's Scholarship Fund - Portland

The Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland helps children from lower-income Oregon families get a “hand up” in life through a quality education. CSF-Portland awards partial tuition scholarships to financially needy elementary students to attend any private, parochial or home school of their parents’ or guardians’ choice.

The Children’s Scholarship Fund aims to maximize educational opportunity for all children: for those in need by offering tuition assistance in grades K-8 for alternatives to faltering conventional schools and for all children by supporting and cultivating education reform and school choice efforts.


CSF-Portland is a partner program of the renowned national Children’s Scholarship Fund, founded in 1998 by Ted Forstmann and the late John Walton. CSF partner programs cumulatively assist almost 29,000 low-income children across the country every year. Since 1999, the lives of 111,000 children across the United States have been changed for the better by CSF scholarships worth $400 million.

Families of greater financial means may already have “school choice.” They might move to a neighborhood with a public school they want their children to attend, or perhaps they can pay for private or parochial school tuition.

Those options are commonly out of the reach of lower-income families. Despite their willingness to do what it takes to get their children the best education they can, lower-income parents may find their children trapped in neighborhood public schools that, for many reasons, do not meet their kids’ needs.

CSF-Portland has a sixteen-year track record of demonstrating that lower-income Oregon parents want to take charge of their children’s futures through educational opportunity, and, when given a choice, they do so.

While their financial means are limited, CSF-Portland parents are knowledgeable and determined to make any sacrifice to raise their children to be educated, responsible, productive and respectful citizens capable of giving to others now and in adulthood.

CSF-Portland believes that parental involvement in the education of children is a critical element of educational success. Therefore, a CSF-Portland scholarship is a “hand up,” not a “hand-out.” CSF-Portland is a partnership with parents, who demonstrate their commitment to and involvement with their children’s education by paying, on average, at least half of tuition themselves. By directly investing in the education of their children, parents affirm their vital stake in that education and participate more fully in their children’s educational future. When parents become involved in making their own choices regarding their children’s education, and make financial sacrifices to realize their goals, their relationship with teachers and administrators is strengthened, with positive results for the students, family, school and community.

The need and desire for meaningful educational choice in Oregon is great. When CSF-Portland began in 1999, the parents of 6,639 Portland-area children applied for 550 available scholarships. CSF-Portland regularly receives inquiries from lower-income parents wanting to place or keep their children in the private schools that fit their academic and social needs.

We have given nearly 650 Oregon students a “hand up” since 1999, and we are seeking additional funding to enable us to award scholarships to even more students.

Sites of Interest

Please note that views expressed on other organizations’ websites are not necessarily those of Cascade Policy Institute, the Children’s Scholarship Fund, or their employees.

Scholarship Program Websites

School Choice Movement, Research, and News

Alternative, Private, and Parochial Schools: Success Stories

Private and Parochial Schools in Oregon

Home Education

Education Resources

  • Education Bug – Education Directory – features articles, directories, newsletter, and profiles on schools

College Opportunities

“Thank you very much for the generous tuition assistance you have provided four of our students over the past years. We have seen these four students grow and mature academically, spiritually, physically and socially….. “The average test score for the four…Children’s Scholarship Fund students on a nationally normed test taken at the end of last school year ranks them in the 77th percentile….It is my belief that the students showed such a high level of achievement because they were provided with a learning environment that challenged and encouraged them to do their best. This would not have been possible without the financial assistance provided them through Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland.”
Pam, Principal

Cascade Expert


Kathryn Hickok
Director — Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland
Publications Director
Development Coordinator

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