Become a CFEF Partner School

Why partner with Children First?

Children First Education Fund is the nonprofit organization that administers the Carson Smith Opportunity Scholarship program. We are dedicated to providing school choice options to children with disabilities. Many students with special needs are better served in private schools. Our scholarships make it possible for families to afford tuition and fees at private schools. Partner schools enjoy the following benefits:

CFEF partner Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Becoming a Children First Partner School

Private schools desiring to become a qualifying school to receive scholarship students and the associated funding through the Carson Smith Opportunity Scholarship must meet the qualifications established in the Utah Code §53E-7-4, and the Utah State Board of Education Administrative Rule R277-626.

These documents identify the following requirements for private schools to become approved partners:

  • Have a physical location in Utah where scholarship students attend classes and have direct contact with the school’s teachers
  • Contract with an independent licensed CPA to conduct an audit to verify the school’s financial stability
  • Comply with anti-discrimination laws
  • Meet state and local health and safety laws and codes
  • Provide a written disclosure to parents of prospective students before enrollment outlining the special education support provided by the school and any additional fees associated with that support
  • Administer annual assessments of each scholarship student’s academic progress
  • Employ or contract with qualified teachers
  • Schools that meet these requirements must submit an application to the Utah State Board of Education.
  • Children First will be notified of all schools that have been approved by USBE.

Once Approved, qualifying schools will then complete the CFEF onboarding process to begin receiving scholarship funds for qualified students.

Partner School Application

Ready to get started? Click below to begin the CFEF Partner School Application.

Current CFE Fund Partner Schools

Each of the schools listed below have been approved by the Utah State School Board (USBE) to receive students awarded with the Carson Smith Opportunity Scholarship. Additional schools will be added as they are approved by USBE.

American Fork


Brigham City

Cedar City




Lake City





Mount Pleasant




Park City

Pleasant Grove





Saint George

Trinity Lutheran School

Salt Lake City


South Jordan

South Ogden

St. Geoge




West Jordan

West Valley