Northeast Times

Editorial: Say no to voucher

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.
E-mail let­ters to the ed­it­or to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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