This week, the General Assembly passed the $46.6 billion state budget. Thankfully, the budget provided approximately $7.5 million for the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program, an educational options program that provides scholarship assistance to students who wish to attend a Catholic or other nonpublic school. With over $3 million in tuition assistance provided through BOOST to students attending Catholic schools last year, BOOST was a major priority for the Catholic Conference and our Maryland Catholic schools.
In anticipation of the reauthorization of BOOST, the State Department of Education began accepting applications for the 2019-2020 school year on March 12th. The application deadline to apply for a BOOST scholarship for the 2019-2020 school year is fast approaching – April 17th, 2019.
"There are just a few weeks left to apply for BOOST and every eligible family who is in need of tuition assistance to attend Catholic school should apply," said Garrett O'Day, Deputy Director of the Maryland Catholic Conference. Mr. O’Day encourages all interested families to apply at: http://marylandpublicschools.org/pages/boost/index.aspx
Mr. O’Day went on to say that "Our Catholic schools educate nearly 50,000 students in Maryland. Those students and their families continually express their gratitude to the senators and delegates who recognize the integral role their schools play in Maryland. They are grateful that all kids matter to those lawmakers, regardless of where they choose to attend school. We count on their continued support.”
In addition to BOOST Program funding, Catholic and other nonpublic schools received budgetary funding for three other priority programs, matching or increasing the Governor’s allowance in his proposed budget. For a second year, schools will share in a $3.5 grant program for school safety initiatives through the Nonpublic School Safety Grants Program. Additionally the legislature funded $6 million for the Nonpublic Student Textbook and Technology Program and increased the Senator James E. “Ed” DeGrange Nonpublic Aging Schools program to $4 million.
Schools may apply through the State Department of Education for the Safety Grants and DeGrange Aging Schools Programs this fall.