Private schools rally for state education aid

January 26, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Hundreds of private school pupils, parents and teachers gathered at the State House last night to continue a 3-year-old quest to get state aid for Roman Catholic, Jewish and other nonpublic schools.

The schools are seeking $14 million to pay for expenses such as textbooks and technology improvements.

Last night, children held up signs saying, "It's about time!" and "We want our fair share," but the lobbying effort might fail this year.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening did not fund the request in his proposed budget unveiled last week, and a spokeswoman says he does not plan to include such funding in a supplemental budget.

"There are a lot of unmet needs in the public schools at this point that need funding, and the governor's priority is meeting those needs in public schools," said spokeswoman Michelle Byrnie.

More than 125,000 pupils attend nonpublic schools in Maryland. Private schools contend their $14 million request is a bargain, arguing that they save the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year that it would otherwise spend educating their children in public schools.

Pub Date: 1/26/99

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