County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III joined Maryland State Educators Association on February 28 to oppose Governor Larry Hogan’s proposal to increase funding for private school vouchers,
County Executive Rushern Baker joined former NAACP President Ben Jealous, Maryland PTA, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and ACLU of Maryland to urge the General Assembly to get rid of Governor Hogan’s $5 million BOOST private school voucher program.
Governor Hogan’s Budget Reconciliation and Finance Act would cut $20 million from public school funding and increase private school vouchers funding to $7 million. The BOOST program was approved last year, but it fails to help low-income students move from so-called “failing” public schools.
“If Maryland is going to take back its rightful place as HAVING the best public schools in the country, we must be fully committed to re-investing in our public schools, said County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III” “We have dropped from #1 to #5 in national education rankings amongst the states, so diverting funding to private schools is not a prudent use of tax dollars. Educating our children is one of the few mandates we have as a state and we should not be passing that responsibility on to private schools. Every child in Maryland deserves the best education possible and we have to get serious about making that happen for every child no matter what zip code they live in.”
Funding for nine public school districts was reduced, as Hogan’s three planned increases for the BOOST private school voucher program is still in the works. Hogan cut funding for Baltimore City School System by $42 million, along with a summer and new after-school program for low-income students.
A joint letter from coalition members was delivered to the House. The letter urges the delegates to do away with the BOOST program and return the $7 million to the public school systems.