Monday, July 5, 2010

Catholic schools vital and necessary

From the letters to the editor in the ...

Catholic schools vital and necessary

Your article "What parents want from schools" (Tuesday) points out what we at Business Leadership Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS) already know: Catholic schools are a vital and necessary option for parents throughout Philadelphia.

Catholic schools operate and thrive in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Often, the only safe and academically strong school in a neighborhood is a Catholic school. Over the last 30 years, parochial-school enrollment has declined, but it is not because parents don't want to send their children to Catholic schools. On the contrary, each year BLOCS receives more than 8,000 applications for scholarships from families that want to send their children to Catholic schools but cannot afford to.

Philadelphia's archdiocese schools play a key role in the educational economy of the city. These schools provide a good education at no cost to the taxpayer, and offer the chance at a better life for thousands of children in the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the city. At BLOCS, we're working hard to make sure that the tens of thousands of children who attend Catholic schools in Philadelphia are able to continue receiving a strong, values-based education, regardless of family income level.

Improving access to a high-quality education is of critical importance for the children of Philadelphia. In order to do so, we need to work across the traditional lines and include public, charter, private, and Catholic schools in the effort to better educate our city's future generations.

Joe Garecht
Executive Director

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