News for Advocates for Catholic Education in Pennsylvania September 2, 2010
Back to School News:
Thank you for all your support of the ACE-PA network. Congratulations. Summer is coming to an end and most of Pennsylvania’s Catholic school children have either returned to the classroom already or will be shortly. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference understands the financial challenges families face in choosing a Catholic education for their children. We are very grateful to all Catholic school parents and want to provide as much support as possible. That is why ACE-PA is so important. It is Pennsylvania’s largest private school grassroots advocacy network.
Pennsylvania faced several financial challenges last year with declining tax revenues and unsuccessful federal education grant applications. Many programs received budget cuts forcing them to take cost reduction measures that affect almost every resident. With your help we were able to stop a scheduled cut in funding for Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) scholarships which was a monumental task. In fact, non-public school students like those in our Catholic schools got an increase in funding for scholarships, because of a formula change in how EITC dollars are distributed.
This year will be even more financially challenging then last year for Pennsylvania. The state is facing serious shortfalls in tax revenues and an increase in need for services.
Your support for the ACE-PA network is vital to Catholic education in the state of Pennsylvania. We need to expand the network if we are going to be successful in our advocacy with legislators. Please help us expand the ACE-PA network by telling all your friends, family, co-workers and the Catholic school community to sign-up and become members of ACE-PA.
Stepping up ACE-PA:
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (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 will be touring Pennsylvania starting in September to meet with the Catholic school principals to 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.
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has learned over the last month that both of Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial candidates are supporters of school choice. This is fantastic news for Catholic school students. For the first time in over eight years the top political figure in the state wants true education reform that will benefit all of Pennsylvania’s children regardless of the school they attend. A comprehensive school choice bill has not even been introduced within the last eight years. In the next session, we may have a chance. Times are changing and we welcome the new school choice supporters with open arms.
2010 Catholic Education Priorities:
- Increasing the funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program to $100 million.
- Equity in education funding for all students in Pennsylvania.
- 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].