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Children’s Scholarship Fund-Oregon

A quality elementary school education puts children on the path to success in life. To that end, the Children’s Scholarship Fund and its partner programs provide partial scholarships to low-income families so their children can attend the K-8 schools that will help them reach their full potential.

A program of Cascade Policy Institute, CSF-Oregon is part of the Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) national network of scholarship granting organizations. CSF and its partner programs are committed to empowering families in need with the ability to choose the K-8 schools that best meet their children’s needs, regardless of their ability to pay or the neighborhoods where they live. CSF also supports parental choice and reform efforts that help all children get the education they deserve.

CSF-Oregon empowers K-8 students from lower-income Oregon families to get a quality education and a “hand up” in life by providing partial tuition scholarships to the tuition-based schools of their parents’ choice. Since 1998, the Children’s Scholarship Fund and its independent partners have provided scholarships worth $789 million, changing the lives of almost 174,000 low-income children.

A need-based scholarship program, CSF-Oregon accepts applications from lower-income families residing anywhere in the state of Oregon. Click here to see program eligibility requirements.

The gift of education can change a low-income child’s future. For more information, visit the website of the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Oregon.

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No More Failed Rail

Light rail was first introduced to the Portland Metro region by TriMet in the late 1980s. Since then a total of five “MAX” lines have been constructed. The Metro Council and TriMet have made the same promises every time a light rail line has been considered—that it will decrease traffic, cut greenhouse gas emissions, cut down on travel times, have frequent headways, and have high levels of ridership.

Every time these promises are made; every time these same promises are broken.

Traffic congestion increases as travel lanes are stripped away from drivers so that light rail can have an exclusive right-of-way. Travel times are longer than promised as light rail speeds decrease year after year. Train headways are less frequent, often occurring every 15-30 minutes instead of the promised 7-10 minutes. It takes decades for a MAX line to account for the greenhouse gas emissions that are produced during the construction of the line, and that’s if ridership is as high as Metro and TriMet have forecasted.

However, ridership numbers never come close to estimated levels. In fact, TriMet ridership has been decreasing every year since 2015, meaning that any new light rail line will have a high cost with very little added benefit.

The same promises are being made again by Metro and TriMet with the proposed SW Corridor Light Rail project, which will travel from downtown Portland to Tigard’s Bridgeport Village. The project is currently set to cost between $2.35-2.76 billion in 2023 dollars, though this amount is likely to increase based on the experiences of past lines. A vote on regional funding for the project is set to occur in November 2020.

Click below to learn more about the No More Failed Rail project and why you should vote “no” for another unsuccessful light rail line.


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School Choice for Oregon

Every child deserves a quality education that fits his or her individual needs as a student. Public schools are often a one-size-fits-all system, which doesn’t usually provide alternative teaching approaches that so many children need to succeed.

In Oregon, government has sought to improve education by implementing more so-called high stakes testing requirements, and bureaucracy to try and hold schools accountable. But such “accountability” hasn’t resulted in more learning, as much as it has tied the hands of teachers and principals with bureaucratic red tape.

School Choice takes the focus off of the bureaucracy, and places it onto making sure that our kids get the education they deserve. When parents have the power to spend education dollars where they believe their own kids can learn more, true accountability is a natural result – whether it’s public, private, home, online schooling or─increasingly─a combination of these various learning modes.

Cascade Policy Institute promotes many forms of school choice. In 1999 we helped create Oregon’s system of public charter schools, and in the same year we launched Children’s Scholarship Fund-Oregon that continues to provide totally private partial scholarships for low-income children to attend the schools of their parents’ choice.

Cascade is now promoting what we see as the most powerful form of school choice known as Education Savings Accounts. We’ve launched a site dedicated to educating about and promoting ESAs and other school choice options at

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