Governor Hogan (center) poses with students at the 2017 Nonpublic Schools Advocacy Day
Governor Larry J. Hogan (R) officially took office for a second term this week, kicking off four more years at the helm in Annapolis and a busy 2019 legislative session.
Hogan introduced his official Fiscal Year 2020 budget today, and with it, a proposed increase of $3 million in funding for the BOOST Scholarship program to $10 million, fulfilling the governor’s commitment to double funding for the program over three years. His budget also includes an additional $3.5 million for school safety improvements at nonpublic schools.
“Governor Hogan has proved to be very responsive to the needs and concerns of the Catholic community as well as other faith communities that we often work with on issues of mutual interest,” said Jennifer Briemann, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference. “Governor Hogan has also been a strong supporter of Catholic schools, and has been instrumental in the growth of the BOOST scholarship program, which has changed the lives of countless families by providing students the financial opportunity to attend a non-public school.”
Since passing the BOOST scholarship program in 2016, Maryland has gradually increased the allocation for scholarships. This past year, a total of $7.6 million was available for scholarships, with a portion specifically for scholarship for students with disabilities. Since it’s passage in 2016, the Maryland Catholic Conference has been working closely with the Governor’s office to ensure more families are able to participate in BOOST.
“The funding put in the state budget each year for BOOST has enabled thousands of Maryland families who would not otherwise be able to afford it, to choose the educational option best suited for their children,” said Garrett J. O’Day, deputy director of the Conference. “We are grateful for Governor Hogan’s continued support of this program, look forward to his budget and working with our state lawmakers to continue this important program.”
Also expected in the coming days is final data on the BOOST Scholarship awards for the current fiscal 2018-2019 school year.
As the state gathers the final numbers on BOOST, a recent poll shows that, nationally, support for school choice is on the rise. BOOST enables low-income families to choose educational options that they otherwise might not be able to afford. Read more about the poll HERE.