Give the girls at St. Hubert High School lots of credit. They love their school, and they show it.
When push came to shove earlier this year and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia threatened to close the school to help ease the archdiocese’s money crunch, St. Hubert students, families and alumnae joined forces to raise the funds necessary to keep their fine institution open.
Now, the girls at St. Hubert are making a push for a law that would allow their parents to use taxpayer-financed tuition aid for parochial (in other words, non-public) schools, but there’s one teeny-tiny obstacle to so-called school choice. It’s called the Constitution of the United States.
This is America, where separation of church and state means public funds cannot be used to send kids to parochial schools.
Parents who want the public to help pay for their children’s religious education are no doubt good and decent folks who want the best for their kids. They want education choice, but they already have a choice. It’s called public schools.
As taxpayers, the parents of parochial school students have as much right and indeed an obligation to demand the School District of Philadelphia and the School Reform Commission provide efficient, effective and excellent education as do parents of public school students.
Parents also have another American right — the right to free speech. Parents of kids in Catholic schools, for instance, have the right to ask church leaders why they have shelled out more than $11 million in legal fees related to the clergy-abuse scandal. That money could have helped an awful lot of parochial school families pay their tuition.
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