ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan announced today that the State of Maryland would launch a $1.6 million grant program to provide additional support for non-public schools.
“Every child in Maryland deserves access to a world-class education regardless of what neighborhood they happen to grow up in,” said Governor Hogan. “Through the first-ever school choice program in state history, we have provided more than 20,000 scholarships for needy students. With this grant program, we are focused on helping more schools address the learning loss caused by the pandemic.”
The governor established the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) program in 2016 to provide scholarships for low-income students from areas with underperforming schools to attend non-public schools. Through BOOST, the state has provided more than $50 million to fund scholarships for low-income students.
Last year, the Governor announced two rounds of Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS) funding to provide financial assistance to support safely reopening schools and helping students recover from learning loss associated with the pandemic. With the leftover funding from that program, the governor is establishing a $1.6 million grant program that will cover a range of eligible expenses, including:
- Supplies to sanitize, disinfect, and clean school facilities;
- Improving ventilation systems, including windows or portable air purification systems, to ensure healthy air in the non-public school;
- Educational technology (including hardware, software, connectivity, assistive technology, and adaptive equipment);
- Expanding capacity to administer coronavirus testing to effectively monitor and suppress coronavirus, including conducting surveillance and contact tracing activities and supporting other activities related to coronavirus testing for students, teachers, and staff at the nonpublic school (including the use of nursing services);
- Reasonable transportation costs.
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will post the grant application and conduct outreach to eligible non-public schools in early October.