The ACLU of Maryland is calling for legislators to halt funding to religious and private schools, saying that taxpayer money should be put toward the state's funding obligation to public schools.
In a release, the advocacy organization called a taxpayer subsidy of $500,000 slated to go to private schools next year "unfair." The funding, included in the state's supplementary budget, was scheduled to be reviewed in the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
"Taxpayer funding should not be used for textbooks and technology at private and religious schools, especially when the state's fiscal climate that is just beginning to recover," Sara Love, public policy director for the ACLU of Maryland, said in a statement.
The organization went on to say: "Our public funds should be dedicated to public schools."
According to the ACLU, the state's public school funding is coming in at roughly $700 million less per year than it should be under the agreed upon formula, known as Thornton. As a result, the organization said, challenges such as large class sizes, adequate resources for gifted and struggling students and preparation for new Common Core standards are going unaddressed.
"It is unfair to Maryland's public school students and to Maryland's taxpayers to provide resources to private schools when public schools are being told to wait on basic operating budget needs.