Governor Hogan recently announced that he is proposing to increase private school funding by $10 million. Rushern L. Baker, III, Prince George’s County Executive, responded by saying that when public schools have the resources they need, our students succeed. He also went on to say that every student should have access to what works: computer labs, small class sizes, modern facilities, Advanced Placement and art classes, foreign languages, real-world technical skills and high-quality early education.
Private school vouchers are offered to qualifying students. However, many parents are concerned about the distribution of the vouchers, whether they are being offered to low-income and special needs students, as well as students attending failing schools. There is also the question of whether the vouchers are only for students enrolled in public schools and whether they are for students already enrolled in private schools or both.
Student eligibility requirements are different for each state, but most require that students have previous public school attendance. Arkansas waives the requirement, if the student is a child of an active duty member of the military. While Indiana waives the requirement, if the student received an “F” grade from the neighborhood school.
Executive Baker argued, “Governor Hogan’s proposal to spend $10 million on private school vouchers sends the wrong message about Maryland’s commitment to a great public education for every child. Our public schools serve students from every neighborhood, every socioeconomic group, and every race, religion, gender and learning level. Instead of diverting money away from students who need it most, I urge Governor Hogan to reinvest in Maryland’s public schools.”