News for Advocates for Catholic Education in Pennsylvania October 5, 2010
Senate Education School Choice Hearing:
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) has been informed that the Senate Education Committee will host a school choice hearing on October 13, 2010. This is great news for the Catholic school community. Finally, the Pennsylvania legislature will be taking a serious look at school choice in Pennsylvania.
The PCC and the Bishops of Pennsylvania know the sacrifices that families endure for Catholic education, so with that in mind we are lobbying for school choice legislation that will allow more parents to choose nonpublic school and will assist parents who already send their children to nonpublic schools. In addition, we will still seek all the safeguards that allow schools to keep their Catholic identity and make sure the boundaries between Church and state remain. The PCC will keep you posted on the school choice movement.
Pennsylvania School Choice Movement gets backing of key Philadelphia Labor Unions:
The IBEW Local 98 and the Laborers’ District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity announced their support of Senate Bill 1405, which gives low-income students from failing public school districts opportunity scholarships to attend a private or parochial school. To read the entire article go to www.studentsfirstpac.org.
The PCC has released it’s Pennsylvania Catholic Voter Guide:
As the Pennsylvania elections start heating up the PCC has released its Pennsylvania Catholic Voter Guide. As part of an effort to educate citizens about candidates and their positions on issues important to Catholic voters, the PCC sent a questionnaire to candidates for statewide office to give them the opportunity to make their positions known on key issues. All four statewide candidates for governor and the U.S. Senate participated in interviews about their views with the PCC staff. The complete questionnaires and full interview transcripts are posted on pacatholic.org. Please take a minute to view the guide before voting, so you will know where a candidate stands. The PCC does not endorse candidates for political office.
Stepping up ACE-PA:
The PCC will be stepping up its efforts to grow the ACE-PA network this year. Just a few things to look out for: Every school and diocesan education department will be asked to post an ACE-PA link on their website. The PCC has been touring Pennsylvania to meet with the Catholic school principals to discuss the importance of ACE-PA, the Institute for Public Policy, and the PCC. We need everyone to help us grow. Invite your friends, family and school community to get involved.
2010 Catholic Education Priorities:
1. Restore the funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program to $75 million.
2. Equity in education funding for all students in Pennsylvania.
3. Build the ACE-PA advocacy network.
Thank you for all your support of the ACE-PA advocacy network. ACE-PA is one of the most important tools we have to influence public policy. With your participation, we can truly change Catholic education in Pennsylvania. I would like to say hello to all our new members and welcome them to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference’s ACE-PA monthly newsletter. The newsletter will update our volunteers of current Catholic school issues and identify our legislative priorities for the upcoming budget cycle in Pennsylvania.
Technology allows more user interaction for ACE-PA:
Catholic education is among the many issues with which the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference gets involved. Please help spread the word to all your family and friends to assist us in growing the ACE-PA advocacy network. Its simple, just forward this link click here. PCC also advocates on issues of religious liberty, life and the dignity of the human person, marriage and family, social justice, health care, and faith and politics during the election cycle. Check any and all of the categories on the sign-up screen to receive updates on each of them.
All information supplied will only be used for Pennsylvania Catholic Conference purposes. Providing your home address allows the system to determine your legislative district. If you choose to use the PCC website to send a message to your legislators, it will go to the appropriate elected official. Legislators are most influenced by communications that come from their own constituents.
The latest news about Catholic education issues in Harrisburg is posted as it happens on PCC’s website, pacatholic.org/catholic-education and on the ACE-PA Facebook page. Information about ACE-PA can also be found on the front page of pacatholic.org. Watch for the logo in the scrolling list of featured articles. This page will offer resources that will help you boost our advocacy for Catholic education in Harrisburg, but also in your school, parish and community.
The future of Catholic education in Pennsylvania depends on all of us. If you have any suggestions on improving ACE-PA or increasing our membership, please contact me at [email protected].