In today's global marketplace, our children are already competing with their peers around the world. We are falling behind in science technology, engineering and math, the keys to economic growth. Our schools must prepare the next generation to meet the challenges of a changing world.
While Maryland's public schools are ranked top in the nation, many are still failing. Parents deserve the right to choose the right school for their children. No one should have to settle for an inferior education.
While many public schools excel, we must still foster excellence and innovation by supporting charter and private schools. They are proven to work. Ninety-nine percent of students at nonpublic schools are accepted into college, compared to 44.1 percent of public school students.
This week, hundreds of students, teachers, and administrators from private and charter schools demonstrated in Annapolis to support community investment in their schools. Catholic schools, Jewish schools, secular schools, and charter schools united to rally for Senate Bill 844, the Partnership for Student Education and Community Investment Tax Credit.
That bill gives a tax credit to businesses that donate to public and private schools. These donations must pay directly for students' education, including tuition, textbooks, transportation, and uniforms.
We need this tax credit because it will encourage investment by Maryland businesses that will really help Maryland schools. Bright, innovative graduates from schools like these will let us compete in the global marketplace. This tax credit will help our young people succeed.
When Maryland has corporate tax credits for everything from biodiesel to the film industry, I think there is no excuse to not support a tax credit for helping schools. It is good for students, good for businesses, and good for our community.