Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A win for Catholic schools?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers have proposed “increasing public funding for religious and private schools, potentially reversing years of cuts and handing the Roman Catholic Church a political victory.”
Under Mr. Cuomo's budget plan, nonpublic schools would get about $117 million, or a 13% increase, to carry out administrative duties the state requires, such as taking attendance, giving standardized tests and running immunization programs. The Assembly's plan puts such spending at about $118 million, while the Senate sets aside $133 million.
. . .

The New York State Catholic Conference led the push for money for 1,800 nonpublic schools with 416,000 students.
. . .
And it marked a rare victory in Albany for private and religious schools, which say, even with the funding boost, they are still owed more money.

The state aid is essentially a reimbursement to the private schools for the time it takes teachers and other administrators for duties they might perform anyway.

The Catholic Conference estimates nonpublic schools are owed back payments of about $325 million because the state underestimates the cost of such duties.

"We have a long way to go, probably a number of years, before the state satisfies their obligation to our schools," said Jim Cultrara, the Catholic Conference's director of education.

The New York State Catholic Conference has more information regarding its legislative proposals about education here.

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