The New York State Catholic Conference and the USCCB are urging the state for economic relief for Catholic schools and their families.
The New York State Catholic Conference and the USCCB are urging the state for economic relief for Catholic schools and their families.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the New York State Catholic Conference (NYSCC) released an action alert on Wednesday, July 15, urging state Catholics to join in the fight for aid for Catholic schools. 

 

The on-going financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have left Catholic schools in a state of uncertainty, while students' families are struggling to keep up with tuition and other education expenses. 

 

Congress is preparing to introduce additional COVID-19 relief later this week; the new legislation is expected to include hundreds of millions of dollars for public schools. The USCCB and NYSCC are urging the state to set aside an equal percentage of assistance for tuition-paying families in the Albany Diocese and other religious and non-public schools. 

 

The action alert called for Catholics to contact their local legislators to join in asking for emergency aid for Catholics schools and their families.

 

“The public school community has requested another $300 billion in the next Coronavirus aid package. We ask that distressed families of non-public schools be considered as a part of the comprehensive needs of K-12 education,” writes the USCCB in the action alert. “Since non-public students represent 10 percent of the K-12 student population, 10 percent of what is made available to public schools should be directed specifically to the non-public school community to provide direct aid to families in the form of means-tested scholarships.” 

 

According to USCCB, over 100 Catholic schools across 23 states have already permanently closed due to impacts of COVID-19. Additionally, 10 percent of Catholic schools are uncertain if they will be stable enough to re-open in the fall. The total impact of the pandemic could leave 500 or more Catholic schools in jeopardy.

 

“It is important to make sure that hard-hit Catholic school families also receive emergency relief,” writes the USCCB. “Please take a moment to contact your members of congress to ask for emergency aid to Catholic schools and hard-hit families in the next COVID-19 relief package.  We are asking congress for direct funding to families for education expenses, including Catholic school tuition.” 

 

To join the fight visit the USCCB’s website to view their action alert and send a message to members of congress: https://www.votervoice.net/USCCB/Campaigns/75795/Respond