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Catholic schools deserve a fair share of taxpayer money

Written by Susan Mannella on .

More Catholic schools are closing their doors -- unnecessary victims of an egregious misinterpretation of the Constitution. Separation of church and state cannot and should not be defined as an appropriate constitutional issue -- for the obvious reason that a Catholic school is not a church. It is a school where parents pay taxes plus tuition.

Taxes are everyone's responsibility. The government disburses tax money to educate every school-age child. But something's happened in the translation and the distribution of money: Catholic schoolchildren were factored out of the equation and their fair share.

Catholic and public schools are both required to employ certified degree teachers from an accredited college. Both must take continuing education and in-service courses to upgrade their skills. And both are subjected to periodic evaluations.

The difference is that Christian faith and moral responsibility are integrated into a Catholic school's curriculum. Historically, Catholic schools excel academically. Their graduates become good, contributing, taxpaying citizens in their communities and beyond. And they do it with less, thank you. They are an asset to society.

So why do we sit by and watch this valuable educational industry evaporate? Legislators need to do the right thing. Recognize that Catholic schoolchildren deserve their share of our tax dollars and treat them as equals. Public schools should not have a monopoly when all requirements are equal and met.

LOU L. GATTO
Ellwood City
The writer is a retired public school psychologist.


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