As many public school systems are struggling to maintain current teachers and programs, the investments needed for new curricula, and staff are being put off. They are struggling to find the billions necessary to renovate decrepit school buildings and to upgrade technology to meet state testing standards. Now is not the time to be giving away millions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies to private and religious schools.
For years, the state has been spending tens of millions on subsidies for books and technology for private and religious schools. Last year, without public debate, millions were added to the state budget to pay for improvements to privately-owned buildings that house private and religious schools.
What is worse, the private and religious schools receiving public funds are not required to meet state education standards. They are not required to adhere to the same anti-discrimination laws as public schools. They are not required to demonstrate that taxpayer money is needed. And there is little accountability for how they spend the money. It's just a giveaway.
The ACLU of Maryland is urging state lawmakers to stop using public funds to support private education. We are asking them to remove a $1.4 million increase to the Textbook Aid program (HB 160/SB 170), remove $3.5 million in funding for non-public schools in the Aging Schools Program (HB 161/SB 171), and oppose the "Maryland Education Credit" (HB 1262/SB 633), which would provide use taxpayer dollars to subsidize contributions to non-public schools.
Tell your legislators to say "no" to siphoning millions of state funds as a giveaway to private and religious schools.
Learn more about the ACLU of Maryland's Education Reform Project.