The Nonpublic Textbook and Technology Program provides textbooks and technology instructional materials for loan to nonpublic schools. For a school to participate, its student tuition must be equal to or less than the statewide average per pupil expenditure by Local Education Agencies from the second prior fiscal year. In Fiscal 2017, 374 schools participated in the program.
The budgeted amount for the Fiscal 2018 Nonpublic Textbook Program is $6.04 million. Schools where more than 40% of the students are eligible for the free or reduced-price meal program (FARMS) receive allocations of $155 per student, schools where 20% to 40% of the students are eligible for FARMS receive allocations of $95 per student, and schools where less than 20% of the students are eligible for FARMS receive allocations of $65 per student. FARMS eligibility is self-reported by the schools and is based on the results of surveys conducted by the schools.
The materials ordered by the nonpublic schools must be secular in character, acceptable for use in any public elementary or secondary school in Maryland, and must be used in classrooms.
Since its inception, the Nonpublic Textbook program has been authorized annually by State Budget Bill language. Since Fiscal 2016, the Budget Bill language has required that schools adhere to certain non-discrimination requirements.
School orders are submitted to MSDE electronically via an online portal. MSDE program staff review the schools’ requisitions. If they are approved, then they are converted to MSDE contracts with vendors. Materials are drop-shipped by vendors directly to the schools, and the schools affix MSDE property labels to the materials. MSDE makes payments directly to the vendors.
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