Archive for November, 2011

Ted, You Will Be Greatly Missed

By CSF President Darla Romfo

In the midst of the sadness, I have loved reading all that has been written about our friend and co-founder Ted Forstmann since his passing on Sunday. His contributions to the world of finance, philanthropy, and education reform are well known by now. I feel very fortunate to have known him on a slightly more personal level through my work at the Children’s Scholarship Fund. As one friend summed it up for me today, “Ted cared about education and philanthropy way before all the stars started making pledges. He was a true pioneer with some steadfast values. And he had such clarity about what was fundamentally right.”

Perhaps that is the character trait that is most admired–his clarity and conviction about what was fundamentally right. He taught me that you have to get the first things right or things will eventually fall apart. From that conviction was born the Children’s Scholarship Fund. He wanted to change what wasn’t fundamentally right in education. Ted knew that parents are the first educators of their children and that if you empower them they will try to do the best that they can for their children. If you don’t honor that truth, things will break down. Of course he was right. He touched a chord with parents who overwhelmingly responded by applying for partial scholarships and telling him they were eternally grateful for the opportunity.

I often wrote Ted notes to pass along something that a child or a parent had said or something that had happened on a visit to a school. I remember writing to Ted in a note at one point telling him that he would not know on this side of heaven all the good he has done. Well, my mentor and friend, now you and John both know all the good you have done. Please watch over us, our work, and all our kids. We love you and we will miss you.

John Kirtley on Ted Forstmann’s Legacy

Tributes to CSF’s co-founder Ted Forstmann have been pouring in today. redefinED has a touching piece by John Kirtley, Chairman of Florida’s Step Up for Students, about his experience working with Ted and CSF to form a CSF partner program in Tampa Bay – and how CSF was the “spark” for tax credit and voucher programs in many states.

Just below Mr. Kirtley’s piece, you can also find a post by CSF President Darla Romfo on CSF and the promising students we support.


Remembering Ted Forstmann

Today, Children’s Scholarship Fund mourns the loss of our co-founder and co-chair Theodore J. (Ted) Forstmann.

Please visit our main website,, where you can read more about Ted’s life and legacy.

CSF Hits the Airwaves

CSF President Darla Romfo was interviewed yesterday on The Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft Show, which airs on WLS-AM in Chicago. If you weren’t in Chicagoland to catch the interview live, you can listen here.

CSF in Today’s Wall Street Journal

Be sure to read Daniel Henninger’s column about Children’s Scholarship Fund in today’s Wall Street Journal. The article, “Forstmann’s Not So Little Idea,” recounts the story of how Ted Forstmann and John Walton founded CSF on the belief that parents should be actively involved in their children’s education:

Mr. Forstmann has long argued that all the money dumped into public education budgets misses the element most crucial to the schools’ success: active parental involvement. His solution to getting them in the game has been requiring the parents to contribute between 25% and 75% of the scholarship award, based on need. That’s it. The parents can pick any private school they desire.

You can read the entire article here.