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BISON Scholarship Fund Scholarship Support Initiative Giving Children a Chance ~ Giving Families a Choice 1.

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Presentation on theme: "BISON Scholarship Fund Scholarship Support Initiative Giving Children a Chance ~ Giving Families a Choice 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 BISON Scholarship Fund Scholarship Support Initiative Giving Children a Chance ~ Giving Families a Choice 1

2 Our Mission The BISON 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 parental choice efforts. 2

3 - Founded in 1995, the BISON Scholarship Fund, is a privately funded scholarship program for low-income elementary school children who reside in Western New York; - BISON has grown from helping 200 children in its first year to 1,810 children this past school year ( ). These children attend 78 different independent or Catholic elementary schools; - Since inception, BISON has provided in excess of 18,700 scholarships, investing more than $13.5 million of privately raised funds. BISON began a partnership with the Children’s Scholarship Fund in 1999, which through 2012 will have brought more than $3 million in outside funds into our community. Our Story 3

4 Trend of BISON Scholarships and Costs 4

5 - In the spring of 1999, the BISON Scholarship Fund commenced a partnership with the Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF), a national foundation established by the late Ted Forstmann (co-founder and senior partner of Forstmann Little & Co.) and the late John Walton (former director of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.). The current grant of $1.4 with CSF started with the school year and will continue through CSF matches all contributions to BISON ($1 for every $3 contributed); - BISON remains in the top six of programs nationally that partner with CSF – the other cities include San Francisco, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Omaha and New York City; - CSF currently has 29 partner programs throughout the United States, funding 25,500 children. BISON and The Children’s Scholarship Fund 5

6 SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM REVIEW 6

7 The Scholarship Program Process -Scholarship applications are available each year, January 1 – April 30. A lottery drawing is held in early May to select new recipients for the upcoming school year. Because of graduation and general attrition totals each year, BISON awards between 250 and 350 new scholarships each year. Families not selected in the lottery remain on a waiting list, and the list currently has more than 1,000 eligible children; -When families win a scholarship, we plan to have them in the BISON program until their child graduates from the 8 th grade. Families can grandfather siblings into the program without filling out another new application; -The average scholarship award is currently $928/child – an increase of 4% from previous year. The overall tuition change from last year was 2%. -The “average” tuition amount for children in the program is $2,647. The average contribution per family is $1,504– however, this year the number of families at the “cap” or $1,400 is 27% - an increase of 2% from the previous year. 7

8 - Of the 1,810 children in the program, 1,633 (91%) attended 55 Catholic schools; 2% attended a Christian school; 2% attend a Jewish school; and the others attend Presbyterian, Lutheran, Islamic, Baptist and independent schools; - Average family income for families in the BISON program is $32,237 down 1% from last year. The average family income for the inner-city is under $26,000, but areas outside the city impact the average income; - The greatest number of BISON students are in Kindergarten – 3 rd grade; for this school year, 12% out of the 357 new awards were children entering Kindergarten. Scholarship Stats for

9 Our Challenge 70% of 8 th graders are not proficient in reading and most will never catch up; Children who live in poverty and read below grade level by 3 rd grade are three times as likely to not graduate from high school as students who have never been poor; Only 57% of black and Hispanic students in the class of 2008 graduated on time, compared to 78.4% of white students; By the time low-income children reach 4 th grade, many are already two to three grades behind their peers from middle and upper-income families; Annual education spending per child more than doubled in 35 years, but academic outcomes flat-lined; The effects of dropping out of high school are drastic and long-lasting, both to the drop out and to society. A child who does not graduate from high school is 4 times as likely to face unemployment compared to a college graduate. High school dropouts can also expect to earn less than half the average salary of a college graduate, and male high school dropouts are 47 more times likely to end up incarcerated than college graduates. In Buffalo, only 25% of African- American males graduate from high school. 9

10 Our Results A child who finishes 8 th grade in private school is twice as likely to graduate form high school and attend and graduate from college. In tracking BISON’s 8 th grade graduates, 95% have gone on to graduate from high school (compared to 54% from Buffalo Public Schools); On average, 65% of BISON 8 th grade graduates go on to a private high school of choice and 30% of BISON 8 th grade graduates attend one of the top performing public or charter high schools; BISON believes that a significant majority of BISON graduates entering competitive high schools demonstrates the ultimate success of the BISON initiative. BISON scholarships are always partial, partnering with the family for their child’s education and families must pay a minimum of $500 a year; BISON scholarships stabilize enrollments at schools that provide a safe and academically sound environment, increasing education options for all; BISON supports parental choice and education reform efforts – both private and public – in order to give all children quality education. BISON is a program that works, and works today. It is the only way for thousands of children to have immediate access to safe, quality values-based education. 10

11 FINANCIAL OVERVIEW 11

12 Financial Overview Funding Needs (current year) BISON Fund Organizational Budget Scholarship Awards 1,810 1,800 1,820 Average Scholarship $ ,0031,043 Scholarship Cost $ 1,649,654 1,737,0001,825,4601,898,260 Administration $ 211, , , ,312 Total BISON Fund Need: 1,861,654 1,959,506 2,059,091 2,143,572 12

13 Donor Segment Foundations*$1,283,906 Private Family Foundations292,000 Corporations42,275 Individuals271,611 $1,889,792 BISON Donors *Includes $600,000 from Diocese of Buffalo, $375,000 from Oishei Foundation $308,906 from CSF 13

14 Our Leverage BISON CSF National CSF Parent 1 BISON Scholar All gifts to BISON are matched, first by CSF and then by BISON families, highly leveraging your investment. Every family is required to pay a portion of the tuition each year. The parental contribution is a vital element in the success of the program, as families who must invest their own money for tuition have a stronger stake in their child’s education. Sharing in the direct cost of education is a natural motivator that keeps education a high priority in the home. BISON focuses on what Stanford’s Caroline Hoxby calls family effects rather than school effects. Both approaches can make a difference, but Prof. Hoxby estimates that a reform that improved family effects by 5% would probably do more for a student outcomes than a reform that improved school effects by 70%. 14

15 CHALLENGES AHEAD 15

16 Program Challenges New and broader base of dedicated funders; Rising tuition costs – we need to raise more money to maintain the same number of children; Economic stresses – for both donors and recipient families; Very large waiting list of eligible children Increasing the scholarship cap to assist in challenging times. Each $100 raise in the cap costs approximately $45,000 a year. 16

17 The Great News ! In our 18 year history: over 18,700 scholarships awarded an economic value of over $13.5 million more than $3 million brought in from CSF children succeeding after 8 th grade – 95 % graduating from high school broad base of support continually growing Luncheon event consistent Board and staff leadership 17


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