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More than 3,100 Students Receive BOOST Scholarships in Program’s Third Year
BOOST Provides Financial Assistance to Attend Nonpublic Schools
BALTIMORE – The third year of the State’s Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program provided scholarships this school year to more than 3,100 low-income Maryland students to attend nonpublic or faith-based schools during the 2018-19 school year.
The BOOST legislation was created in the 2016 legislative session with the support of Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch, and was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan. BOOST provides scholarships for low-income students eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program. The program provided about 2,600 scholarships in 2018-19.
“Our administration is proud to support the bipartisan BOOST program and expand it to provide even more scholarships for students in need next year,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We owe it to our kids to think creatively when it comes to education, and this vital funding will allow more students who would otherwise be trapped in failing schools to attend schools that give them the opportunity for a better education and a better future.”
The governor’s FY 2020 budget grows the BOOST program by $3 million to $10 million, fulfilling the governor’s commitment to double funding for the program over three years. The program was initially inserted into the FY 2017 budget by the General Assembly.
For the 2018-19 school year, $6.5 million in scholarships were awarded to 3,168 students. Scholarships ranged from $1,000 to $4,400 each, with the highest award amount going to students who qualified for the Free Meal Program and attended a public school last year. There were 1,628 scholarships provided to new applicants this year, while 1,540 scholarships went to students who had received a scholarship last year.
In the 2018-19 school year, students with disabilities, as identified by the participating schools, received a $1,000 award adjustment. Currently, 156 students at 49 schools received the award adjustment.
The BOOST program this year was available for students in kindergarten through 12th grade who already attend or had applied to attend one of the participating schools.