One day after being sworn-in as only the second two-term GOP governor in Maryland’s 230-year history, Governor Larry Hogan presented his operating budget for Fiscal Year 2020. True to his word, the Governor provided record allocation increases for all areas of education, including K-12 public school funding and the vital programs that benefit families who choose nonpublic schools. Notably, the budget proposal increased funding for the BOOST (Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today) Scholarship Program, now entering its fourth year, to $10 million (a $3 million increase).
Following the tragic event on Oct. 27th when eleven Jews were murdered in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Hogan Administration assured the Jewish community and those of other faiths that it would do all in its power to protect Marylanders from a crime of that nature. Delivering on that pledge, the budget allocated $5 million for an expanded security grant program to protect facilities that are at risk of a hate crime. Of that amount, $2 million is designated for schools and day care centers, (adding an additional million to this past year’s $1 million grant which benefited many local institutions) while the other $3 million will be dedicated to houses of worship.
Another highlight of the operating budget is an initiative by the Governor to double the tax deduction for those investing in 529 education savings accounts. Agudath Israel was a leader across the state in promoting the new aspects of the 529 program, which led to unprecedented financial benefits to thousands of households see here.