PRIVATE AND RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS GAIN WHILE PUBLIC SCHOOLS STRUGGLE
The essence of the meaning of 'rob Peter to pay Paul' is the pointlessness of taking from one only to give to another. This expression first appeared in 1382.
Governor Hogan is doing just that with his BOOST VOUCHERS program in 2017. He is taking funds from our public schools and giving tax payer dollars to private and religious schools in the state.
While increasing the BOOST vouchers to $7million in 2017 and a proposal to increase the program to $10 million by FY2020, he has cut the public school programs as follows:
1 After school and summer public school programs cut $7.5 million.
2 $5 million for student college readiness programs
3 Teacher Induction and Retention: $8 million cut that was intended to
reduce teacher turnover.
Hogan, and apparently our representatives in Annapolis, have turned a “deaf ear” to the concerns express by the public about his voucher programs. The Baltimore Sun reported, “...most students helped by the program — more than 1,900 — used the money to remain in private schools where they were already enrolled.”
Statistics such as these are proof the program is not delivering on its promise to help low-income students get out of so-called struggling public schools.
According the the Maryland Reporter, voters are at odds with Hogan’s... strong support of increased funding for private school scholarships. A recent survey showed that 68% of voters want education funding to be spent on existing public schools rather than private schools.
We need to speak out and protect our public schools.
Citizens throughout the State of Maryland should be asking Governor Hogan, “What’s up with our public school system support?”
Hogan’s push, along with Republicans nationwide, to establish more Charter schools and increase funds for student vouchers to attend private and religious
schools, have the potential to affect future funding for our 24 public school systems in the state.
Let’s face it, student vouchers as they exist in Maryland today, are nothing more that putting tax dollars in private and religious schools.
The proof that the voucher program isn't meeting its stated objective of helping low-income students leave underperforming public schools is clearly stated by Sean Johnson, legislative director of the Maryland State Education Association, "Data now shows that 78 percent of the total number of students receiving public funded vouchers were already in private schools," Johnson added, "It merely subsidizes private schools with taxpayer dollars that could be going to public schools."
According to reports, in 2012, $4.3 million in vouchers, called BOOST scholarships, were awarded to 2,039 students to attend private and religious schools in Maryland. Hogan proposed an additional $5 million a year to $10 million over several years.
So, where is the money going? Students at Al Huda School, a Muslim school in College park, received 155 scholarships and $311,000, the greatest amount of any school in the state. Some 200 students received $291,000 in tuition payments at Bais Yaakov, the second greatest amount of any school in Maryland. And, Catholic schools run by the Baltimore archdiocese also benefited, receiving $1.1 million in scholarship support for 150 new students.
We need to protect our public schools. WHAT’S UP GOV?
SEE SLIDE PRESENTATION BELOW
PROTECT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS