The Archdiocese of Baltimore has established the Sen. James Edgar DeGrange, Sr. Partners in Excellence Scholarship Fund, in recognition of DeGrange’s tireless leadership and support of Catholic education and in celebration of his invaluable role in securing adoption of the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) by the 2016 Maryland State Legislature.
“After having spent a significant amount of time dealing with the state legislature on behalf of our Catholic schools over the last couple of years, I’ve come to appreciate how much Senator DeGrange desires for every child to receive the education best suited for them, no matter where they attend school,” said Jim Sellinger, Chancellor of Education for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. “In striving toward that, he recognizes the difficulties so many lower and middle-income families face in getting there, including a significant number of current and prospective Catholic school families. This new scholarship exemplifies what he stands for.”
Legislation sponsored by DeGrange, who has represented Anne Arundel County since 1999, entitled Maryland Education Credit, received significant bipartisan support in both the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates for 10 years and helped pave the way for the state to distribute $5 million out of the budget to nonpublic school scholarships for underprivileged Maryland families.
“Ed DeGrange has been a real hero in advocating for high-quality and affordable education opportunities for poor families in the state of Maryland,” said Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference. “From the very start, he never gave up and kept pushing hard year after year. I don’t think we could have accomplished this without his leadership.”
This DeGrange scholarship will provide tuition assistance to a qualifying student attending Monsignor Slade Catholic School (http://msladeschool.com/) in Glen Burnie. It will be awarded annually, beginning in the fall 2016.
Maryland’s BOOST program will be one of approximately 60 educational choice programs in thirty-two other states nationwide and the District of Columbia. The Maryland State Department of Education is responsible for administering the program and the online application procedure, which received of applications in just six weeks of open application enrollment. It is expected that the inaugural group of scholarship recipients will be named by the end of July. To sign up for program updates and stay updated on program details, please visit www.educationmaryland.org/boost.
The Maryland Catholic Conference represents all three dioceses with territory in the state – the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.