Annapolis, MD – Late Monday night in the closing hour of the 427th Session of the Maryland General Assembly, the BOAST (Building Opportunities for All Students and Teachers) Tax Credit bill was defeated in the House Ways and Means Committee by a 14-7 margin.
In the days leading up to the April 12th sine die, the BOAST legislation received amendment proposals by House leadership to completely overhaul the program and change the well-known and proven tax credit program – similar to those successfully active in a growing number of states – into an unprecedented grant program geared to a limited number of private schools based on very specific criteria.
The initial measure was not received well due to its exclusion of all of Maryland’s Jewish schools and lobbying efforts beginning early on Monday morning were to create a passable bill that would benefit nonpublic schools that have served their communities for many years and provide scholarship to at least 25% of their families.
In the end a generous majority of committee members voted the bill unfavorable even though BOAST advocates were admissible to most aspects of the overhauled program.
Rabbi Ariel Sadwin, director of Agudath Israel of Maryland stated: “In yet another unfortunate end to the 90 days of nonstop legislative efforts on the part of the dedicated members of the BOAST Coalition, the leadership of the House of Delegates and Ways and Means Committee decided that stemming the tide of private school closures and the influx of students into the overburdened public schools as its direct result – is not a legitimate concern of theirs”.
Sadwin added, “the lawmakers additionally fail to acknowledge the good of the taxpayer who sees no return on his investment by educating his/her child in private schools.”
(YWN Desk – NYC)
Why are lawmakers supposed to be legislating with a concern for the private school parents investment? If the private schools in question cannot be sustained by their student body, why not look inwards and see where money can be saved? The Yeshiva of Greater Washington pays their 2 principals over 200,000 dollars each! check out more outrageous statistics at http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990_pdf_archive/521/521106842/521106842_200806_990.pdf
Lawmakers should be concerned that if the private students would instead go to public schools, that the state would need to pay a lot more money.