Tags: Coronavirus | cardinal dolan | private schools | coronavirus | federal aid

Cardinal Dolan: All Schools Need Federal Aid

cardinal dolan speaks to press
The Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, speaks at a press conference at Our Saviour Parish in Manhattan regarding the reopening of churches in the archdiocese amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 21, 2020 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 March 2021 12:08 PM

Cardinal Timothy Dolan said on Wednesday that "all schools" need federal aid to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including Catholic and private schools, in an opinion piece published by The New York Daily News.

Dolan writes: "Some of our schools that were already struggling financially could not survive the sudden and dramatic loss of tuition income resulting from many parents losing their jobs. Dozens of Catholic schools in New York and hundreds across the nation were forced to permanently shut their doors. In our remaining schools, even though enrollment is up, so are the expenses required to comply with the stringent and necessary safety requirements we have put in place."

He adds that "we were relieved when we learned that the version of the American Rescue Plan that advanced through the Senate and was signed into law by President Biden would provide the nation’s religious and independent schools with much-needed assistance largely denied in the version proposed by the House."

Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, notes that "a lot of the credit" for this should go to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who Dolan says "realized that students in all schools need support to help recover from the pandemic, not just those in government-run schools. As Senate majority leader, Schumer got this done, but without any support from his own party in the Senate, House, or White House."

He goes on to rip "those Democratic colleagues who opposed Schumer’s efforts," saying they "don’t fully appreciate the value of the religious and independent schools. Perhaps they were fearful of crossing the powerful public school teachers union bosses, who have historically opposed all types of support for non-government schools.

"In this case, though, in a significant break from precedent, Schumer’s efforts were buoyed by none other than Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who acknowledged that children in both private and public schools should be helped, especially those children from low- and middle-income working families."

Dolan adds that "Weingarten’s position is welcome and refreshing, and I appreciate it," but goes on to lament that "public schools still secured disproportionately more funding from the relief package — $2,465 per pupil, compared to $482 per pupil for Catholic and other religious and non-government schools. And public schools are permitted to use those funds for a significantly broader array of programs and services than is permitted for our schools. The irony is not lost on me: Our schools are the ones that expended the money and effort to safely reopen our doors to full-time learning, but we get the short end of the stick when it comes to government relief."

The New York archbishop concludes, "Even when our schools are entitled to relief money, it does not always get to them. Since last April, our schools have yet to be given access to the services for which CARES Act funding was allocated, particularly in New York City, because the funding is entangled in the local public school bureaucracy. Fortunately, in the American Rescue Plan, the money will be channeled directly through state government, ensuring that the schools should receive the money promised to them.

"So, while the American Rescue Plan will go a long way toward helping all schools recover from this catastrophic pandemic, and leaders like Schumer and Weingarten have shown a path toward further partnership for the sake of all schoolchildren, we’ve still got our work cut out for us in ensuring all kids and families are treated equally in the eyes of the government."

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan said on Wednesday that "all schools" need federal aid to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including Catholic and private schools, in an opinion piece published by The New York Daily News. Dolan writes: "Some of our schools...
cardinal dolan, private schools, coronavirus, federal aid
Wednesday, 24 March 2021 12:08 PM
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