The Maryland Department of Education is about to make a very big mistake. Under the Education and Secondary Education Act (better known as No Child Left Behind), low-income families whose children attend low-performing schools are eligible to receive supplemental educational services outside of the regular school day. These services include after school tutorial services.
The Supplemental Educational Services Program is federally funded through Title I. Tutorial services can be provided by private companies that are preferred providers approved by the MSDE. In order to be approved by the state, a provider must demonstrate certain criteria, including its record of effectiveness in increasing student achievement. Unfortunately, local school districts do not like the program, because it takes a portion of the federal money districts receive and gives it to parents who want to access free tutoring for their children.
Many Marylanders have choices when it comes to their children's academic opportunities. Many parents have the option of enrolling their child in different types of schools, including private schools and home schooling. There is the other option of moving to high-performing public school districts. These parents also have the option of paying for other educational services, such as tutoring, to reinforce or correct academic issues.