Not all private schools serve the affluent

April 02, 2010

In the Readers Respond section of The Sun on April 1, Barbara Samuels makes a case against the BOAST tax credit for Maryland private schools. Ms. Samuels assumes that parents who send their children to private schools are "affluent" and welcomes a shift back into public schools.

This ignores the many private schools that serve a different population. Schools such as Friendship School in Eldersburg provide a private nonpublic education for 51 children in grades 1 to 8 who have severe language-based learning differences such as dyslexia. No parent sees their newborn and dreams of the day when he/she can go to Friendship School, but the parents realize that a school such as Friendship School is a lifeline to a more productive life for their child.

The families who send their children to special schools sacrifice greatly to meet tutition that is near $28,000 yearly. Schools such as Friendship School struggle to find grants, undertake fund raisers and cut costs to make such a private school education available. Passage of the BOAST tax credit might someday make the difference between such a special school surviving or failing. And if such a school fails, then the public schools would have a new and expensive challenge to meet. Friendship School supports the BOAST tax credit and would welcome any business or individual who would like to contribute to its mission.

Vernon Alban, Eldersburg

The writer is admissions director of Friendship School.

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