Yellow Scarves Fly in Support of School Choice

January 28, 2015

With Partnership students wearing the signature yellow scarves and our Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer’s blog placing our Catholic schools squarely in the midst of the school choice conversation, National School Choice Week is getting the full support of all six Partnership schools. 
 
The stated purpose of National School Choice Week is to, "shine a spotlight on the need for effective options for all children.”   That goal is best represented at our Partnership schools, which have been pillars of their communities in Harlem and the South Bronx for over 100 years.   Catholic schools are a real and essential option for our families certainly, as well as for the millions of families across the country, both Catholics and non-Catholics alike, who attend our schools.   At this critical time in the educational reform movement,  it is also worth noting, that in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, he included the Education Investment Tax Credit in his Executive Budget.  To read more about how vital Catholic schools are in ensuring a diversity of choice for all families, please read our Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer, Kathleen Porter-Magee's most recent blog post.
 
Follow us on Twitter at @Partnership_NYC for weekly thoughts and updates. 

Public funding, parent choice, and the values of the majority

Kathleen Porter-Magee

January 28, 2015

 

Last week, in his State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo put the weight of his office behind an education tax credit—a bill that would provide dollar-for-dollar tax relief to both individuals and businesses who donated money to either public schools or to scholarship funds that aid needy students in private and parochial schools.

This is an idea I have a personal stake in. As the superintendent of six Catholic schools in New York City, I know how financially challenging it is to keep these schools open and what a difference the donations from this tax credit would make in supporting the important work of our teachers and students.

Of course, for some people the idea of a public policy that provides any tax relief for supporters of religious schools is a third rail. They conjure up a vision of religion being forced on children or of the American ideal of “education for democracy” withering away.

But that not only represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the roots of American public education, it also ignores the reality of the debate. Rather than a choice between keeping religion in or out of our schools, it is really a debate about whether we should have a single state-sanctioned perspective on the values taught in schools or a plurality of approaches from which parents can choose. Click here to read more.

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