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Board Opposes Private School Funding
February 16, 2000
To the Senators and Delegates of the Montgomery County Delegation:
The Montgomery County Board of Education voted last week to oppose Governor Glendening's proposal to include $6 million in the Fiscal Year 2001 operating budget to help the state's nonpublic schools buy textbooks.
The Board recognizes that the funding will come from the tobacco settlement, but we believe that Maryland public schools have too many unmet needs to divert funds to parochial and secular private schools. Public schools are responsible for educating all children in grades K-12 who come to their door. Private and parochial schools can choose their students and remove them from school. Moreover, these schools do not have to meet numerous federal, state, and local laws and regulations required of public schools.
Public funds should not be used to enable private and parochial schools to purchase textbooks so that their funds can be diverted to other purposes.
The Board urges Montgomery County legislators who are on the budget committees in their respective houses to vote against this proposal in committee. Should the provision remain in the budget when it goes to the floor in the Senate and House, we strongly urge all Montgomery County legislators to oppose this provision.
Patricia B. O'Neill
Board of Education of Montgomery County
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