Pennsylvania bishops praise governor's school voucher plan
Gov. Tom Corbett
Gov. Tom Corbett

.- The Catholic bishops of Pennsylvania are applauding Gov. Tom Corbett for approving school vouchers within the state and increasing the local Educational Improvement Tax Credit program.

“School choice is the right choice for Pennsylvania,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia said in reaction to the news.

“It will give families the freedom to educate their children as they see fit, and it offers real alternatives for underprivileged families who seek to give their children a chance to succeed.”

On Oct. 11, Corbett announced his new tuition voucher program which will help low-income students who rank academically in the bottom 5 percent of public schools transfer to the school of their choice.

Additionally, students from households with incomes at or under 130 percent of the federal poverty level would be allowed to take the individual state subsidy their district receives for them and apply it to another public or private school.

The plan will also enable the state to grant charters to charter schools, a power that was reserved for local school districts.

“I recognize that there are many good schools in Pennsylvania,” Corbett said during his announcement  at the Lincoln Charter School in York, Pa.

“But there are also failing schools, and we have to recognize this,” Corbett said. “We can not run from that.”

Although Gov. Corbett's plan is already being criticized by the Pennsylvania State Education Association—the state's largest teacher's union that has long opposed voucher programs—Archbishop Chaput called the decision “a clarion call to the people of Pennsylvania.”

“As citizens, we face a pivotal opportunity to improve the lives and enrich the minds of our children,” he underscored.

Some Catholic schools in the U.S. have seen a spike in enrollment this year as the school choice movement gains traction. As of August 2011, 18 states as well as the District of Columbia have enacted policies that support school vouchers.

Sr. Dale McDonald, director of Public Policy and Educational Research at the National Catholic Educational Association, told EWTN News on Aug. 30 that voucher programs have “gained momentum” due to parental as well as political support.

The Pennsylvania bishops called for legislative action in their state in an Oct. 4 statement last week, arguing that school choice “is not a public versus non-public school issue; it is a family and child issue.”

They also outlined the financial benefits of voucher programs for the local government.

“With fewer students in public school, some of the financial pressure will be lessened on state and local budgets,” they said, noting that the state's 500 Catholic schools are “the largest provider of non-public education in the Commonwealth.”

“These schools educate both Catholics and non-Catholics in an academically excellent and nurturing environment,” the bishops added. “This essential service not only helps to create new generations of productive and engaged citizens, but also by saves over $4 billion tax dollars annually.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

New book 'The Vatican unknown'
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.

Liturgical Calendar

August 1, 2014

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:54-58


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 26: 1-9
Gospel:: Mt 13: 54-58

Saint of the Day

St. Alphonsus Liguori »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: