According to the Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss the Maryland state board of education is holding discussions about how to help troubled area schools. The solutions currently being considered are additional vouchers and charter schools. Charter schools are publicly funded schools that operate independently of traditional school districts.
The Maryland Department of Education notes that there are currently 49 public charter schools in the state which enroll about 20,000 students in four districts that have permitted charters to open. These districts include Baltimore, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel and Frederick counties. In comparison, Washington, D.C. has nearly 40,000 charter school students.
In an email obtained by the Washington Post, board member Andrew Smarick said the board is “just beginning conversations” about the future, and that he is sure that it would need the legislature and the governor to agree with whatever plans it devises. The legislature would have to approve any plan for a statewide voucher program, and currently, Maryland law permits only traditional school districts to authorize charter schools.
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