Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz joined the Maryland Education Association and more organizations in Annapolis on Tuesday to urge the General Assembly to drop the BOOST private school voucher program.
They say the program, supported by Gov. Larry Hogan, failed to help low-income students move from public schools into private schools. Kamenetz says Gov. Hogan's Budget Reconciliation and Finance Act cut $20 million meant for public schools to make room for $7 million in private school vouchers.
"Teachers and students could use more resources," said Kenya Campbell, a member of the Baltimore Teachers Union. "They are taking money out of the public settings to put into private institutions and we want our funds to stay in our public schools."
In December, Kamenetz said the governor announced he would double funding for the vouchers.
"Public Money for Public Schools" organizers argue that Hogan's budget includes planned increases for the BOOST private school voucher program, while reducing funding for nine public school districts.
A spokesperson for Gov. Hogan said he's disappointed in the lengths to which some politicians will go to advance their own political agenda.
"Governor Hogan has repeatedly said that he will champion good ideas, no matter which side of the aisle they come from. The idea for the BOOST program, which came from Speaker Busch and President Miller and received widespread support from Democrats in the General Assembly, is a prime example of the governor's commitment to bipartisan solutions. It's deeply disappointing to see the lengths that some politicians will go to in order to advance their partisan agenda, including taking away educational opportunities for underprivileged kids," Amelia Chasse said in a statement."
**Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that Gov. Larry Hogan supports BOOST. A previous version of this story cited him as its creator.