Rob Sellers | August 12, 2020 https://oklahoman.com/article/5668879/point-of-view-private-schools-provide-stability-for-oklahoma-students-parentsThe COVID-19 pandemic has been changing our way of…
Wesleyan Christian School scored a first on Wednesday, January 21st. The school received a $3,500 scholarship from a statewide organization called the Opportunity Scholarship Fund. Wesleyan Christian is the first northeastern Oklahoma school outside of Tulsa to receive such a scholarship.
“We’re excited to get this scholarship,” said Rocky Clark, Wesleyan Christian School Superintendent. “It will go to a student who couldn’t have enrolled at our school without it. He’s an honors student, and is active in sports and fine arts. This scholarship will really help him.”
Jan Boomer, Wesleyan Christian School Director of Development, added, “This scholarship is the first of what we hope will be many. We’re working closely with the Opportunity Scholarship Fund to raise scholarship funds, and our efforts are starting to bear fruit.”
The Opportunity Scholarship Fund is a scholarship granting organization created under a recent Oklahoma law. Its purpose is to provide scholarships to lower-income students who want to enroll in a private school such as Wesleyan Christian.
OSF raises funds through donations. The law under which OSF was created allows donors to obtain a 50% tax credit against state income tax, subject to certain limits. Though OSF is less than eight months old, Wesleyan Christian School quickly saw the potential of it, and the two organizations began working together to raise scholarships money for WCS. As of January 1st donors can receive an added benefit if they commit to donating for 3 years. The donor will realize a 75% tax credit the first year and then 50% tax credit the subsequent years.
Opportunity Scholarship Fund Vice President Charlie Daniels noted, “Wesleyan Christian has been our friend and partner from the get-go. They really work hard to educate potential donors about the benefits of giving via OSF.”
Daniels added, “Donating through OSF is pretty attractive because of the tax credit. For example, a couple with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 can donate $2,000, and the net cost to them after tax will typically be down around $400. And of course you can designate the school you want it to go to.”
Boomer noted that the OSF scholarships will allow more lower-income students to attend Wesleyan Christian. “Wesleyan Christian now has over 320 students, pre-K though 12,” she said. “It provides a safe, Christian learning environment and excellent academics. Our average ACT score last year was 26.”
Boomer and Daniels expressed gratitude to State Senator John Ford and State Representative Earl Sears for supporting the legislation that enabled the creation of OSF. Their diligent work in the Oklahoma legislature helped to authorize generous tax credits for donors to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) such as Opportunity Scholarship Fund.