Skip to main content

Gov Moore proposes cuts to BOOST voucher program

In Governor Wes Moore’s proposed FY2025 budget, he cuts funding for Maryland’s Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program. BOOST is a state taxpayer funded program that provides vouchers for students to attend private schools. While the program is promoted as a means to expand educational options, there are numerous downsides to it.

First, BOOST diverts public funds to private institutions – funds that are better used to strengthen and improve the public education system, including the state run Maryland School for the Deaf. These funds could be used to hire more educators and increase salaries. BOOST exacerbates existing disparities and hinders efforts to uplift the overall quality of education by taking needed funds away from public institutions. Additionally, while BOOST may offer benefits to the few who are helped, the program cannot serve all the students who need this added “boost”. With limited capacity the program does more harm than good to a majority of Maryland students by removing sorely needed public funds from public institutions.

Private schools that participate in the BOOST program are not held to the same accountability as public schools, which require rigorous oversight and regulations to ensure the quality of education and adherence to curriculum standards, and ensure a safe learning environment free from exclusion and discrimination.

BOOST creates a two-tiered education system. One for families that can afford private schools, and whose children have no physical or mental challenges, and one for families of more modest means, and students who need added support to be successful.

The BOOST program is promoted as a way to widen educational opportunities, but the diversion of public funds, lack of accountability, exacerbation of inequality, and limited accessibility are huge problems. It is imperative that every child, regardless of socio-economic background, physical or mental challenges, has access to a high-quality education. 

AFT-Maryland applauds Gov. Moore’s reduction in funds for the BOOST program.

article by AFT-Maryland staff


Share This