Originally published in RealClear Religion.
As educators and students across the nation conclude Catholic Schools Week, it’s important to recognize, as the Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn recently noted, that Catholic schools have offered a “lifeline to hundreds of thousands of children who would otherwise be out of class and losing ground.” And yet, these schools continue to face headwinds, including the reality that education funding discriminates against parents who choose Catholic or other non-public institutions.
Indeed, the sharp contrast between Catholic schools’ response to COVID-19 and that of public-school districts demonstrates the need to start funding students rather than systems. Only then can we say education funding is truly equitable.
True educational equity arises from having more quality options that parents are empowered to choose for their kids.
Consider the case of Boston, which illustrates the inadequacy of system-based funding. Early in the pandemic – when many churches and businesses were shuttered and families lost income – enrollment in Boston’s Catholic schools dropped by 5,700. Soon thereafter, the public-school teachers’ unions announced they weren’t returning to the classroom in the fall. Almost immediately, phones began ringing off the hook in Boston’s Catholic schools. Enrollment jumped back up by 4,000 students.
While many of the area’s public schools have yet to return to in-person education, Boston’s 31,000 Catholic school students and 3,000 teachers have successfully…
Read more at RealClear Religion.