Baltimore, MD - Mar. 31 - With the Maryland legislature entering its final full week before adjourning for the year, the state budget bill, including the allocations that provide vital assistance to the nonpublic schools, remains under heavy focus. However, Agudath Israel spent much of the past week ensuring the delivery of nonpublic schools funds guaranteed in last year's budget.
As our readers have followed, last year's session produced a new stream of nonpublic schools funds via grants for school building improvements and security upgrades. Eligible nonpublic schools were able to apply for approved projects and submit for reimbursement following their completion. As with any program that provides government funds, applicants must follow strict and thorough guidelines in order to be approved and reimbursed. With the state currently processing the reimbursement for the completed projects, our office was alarmed to receive calls from schools who were told they were being denied their due reimbursement. After thorough investigation, we were able to determine that there had been varying interpretations as to how certain recommended procedures were to be followed. As there had been little indication that any of the recommended procedures would be viewed as required, we were able to prevail on the administrators of the program to allow the funds to be reimbursed and more carefully worded guidelines would be issued in the future.