Proposed BOAST Program Would Divert Taxpayer Dollars From Public Schools to Private Schools
On January 27, Gov. Hogan's office released details on his 2016 proposals for education initiatives, including the same BOAST legislation he unsuccessfully introduced last year. Betty Weller, president of the Maryland State Education Association, made the following statement:
"If Gov. Hogan’s goal is to make sure every student has the opportunity to succeed, BOAST (now called the Maryland Education Credit by private school advocates) should have been the last option on his list. It’s a voucher-like scheme designed to move tens of millions of taxpayer dollars from public schools into private schools. Not only does it create new tax breaks for corporations, it would only help students who can already afford to attend private school. It would do nothing for low-income students except make it harder to fund their public schools.
"BOAST is opposed by nearly 60% of Maryland voters—including a plurality of Republicans—at a time when Marylanders believe their public schools need more funding, not less. Support for private school education is a distraction from the larger education issues at hand, like reducing standardized testing, closing opportunity gaps, and increasing public school funding.
"Educators look forward to working with legislators to reject this proposal—and a similar $5 million giveaway proposed in the governor’s budget—and advance effective solutions that truly improve our public schools."