Maryland GOP gripes over $2M shortfall for private school vouchers under Moore, fears cancellation

Published 2/23/2023 3:53 p.m. EST

Maryland state Sen. Chris West, left, a Republican from Baltimore County, reacts with state Del. Jason Buckel, a Republican from Allegany County, as they wait for Gov. Wes Moore to deliver his first state of the state address, two weeks after being sworn as governor, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, in Annapolis, Md.

Ana Carvajal testified virtually before lawmakers during a Wednesday hearing in Annapolis. Carvajal is a mother of two children who works full-time.

She pleaded with House delegates about the importance of a state school voucher program that enables her children to attend private school. The program, known as Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today, or BOOST, was enacted in 2016.

“The BOOST program has opened the door for my daughter and so many other kids,” Carvajal said.

Her 6-year-old daughter Mariana has earned academic evaluations above the national average, she testified. Such a school would be otherwise unavailable for her family due to financial hardship, she said.

In the past seven years, about 20,000 students have received scholarships to state-approved private and parochial schools that agree not to discriminate against students based on race, color, national origin or sexual orientation.

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