Maryland’s new governor, Wes Moore (D), has proposed getting rid of the state’s private school voucher program. Here’s hoping he succeeds.
The program, called BOOST, began with an allotment of $5 million in 2016 but has since doubled to $10 million. Moore has proposed cutting $2 million from the program this year and eventually phasing it out altogether.
The voucher plan was championed by Maryland’s former governor, Republican Larry Hogan, but Moore has made it clear that under his administration, public funds should support public schools.
Public Funds For Public Schools
“As we are thinking about what needs to happen with public dollars, public dollars do not need to be going to private schools,” Moore said. “Public dollars are going to ensuring that we are building a world-class, public school system for all Maryland students.”
Voucher plans are often pitched as “experiments.” But once in place, they become entrenched and never seem to go away – even when evidence shows that they don’t work. When an experiment has been tried and failed, it’s time to let it go. We need to move on and get the focus back on public schools.
Unfortunately, just the opposite seems to be happening in several states, where voucher plans have been pushed through recently.
If just one state reversed course, it could send a strong signal to others that they don’t have to continue pouring money into ineffective schemes that drain money from public schools.
Maryland has an opportunity to show the rest of the nation that misguided plans that subsidize unaccountable private and religious schools with taxpayer dollars can be terminated.
Let’s hope lawmakers there seize it.