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  #16  
Old Jun 11, '12, 2:27 pm
Tobias2 Tobias2 is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by manualman View Post
Actually this isn't a hard answer. Evangelical christians comprehend the fact that we are living in a culture hostile to the christian faith. They "get it" that there is no such thing as a "values-free education" and that kids in public schools ARE being taught values, regardless of how much secularists say it isn't so. The trouble is that the absence of faith and God in all subjects sends the message that God is irrelevant at best, imaginary at worst (intended or not).

Catholics, on the other hand, have lost sight of the incompatibility between our values and those of the larger culture. We misinterpreted Vatican II's "aggiornamento" as meaning "We did it! We're finally the same as everybody else now." And so we no longer aim higher.

When catholics were publicly scorned in America and denigrated on a routine basis, we saw the threat and we built our own school system from virtually nothing on the contributions of penniless immigrants. Now that we're a 'mainstream religion' the wealthiest generation of catholics in American history can't afford to repair the roofs our broke forefathers built. It's a priority issue. Evangelicals are making christian education a priority. We aren't. Yet.
I sort of asked that tongue in cheek.

It's funny but the goal of some evangelicals is to build a national network of Christian primary and secondary schools even larger than the Catholic school system had during its hayday.

The sad thing is when a church school closes as one near me did last year and the Catholics refuse to sell the facility to Christians who want to continue it as a school. It is so hard to get building permits in the Bay Area - for anything. I hope that the Catholic church will rethink and sell some of these empty schools to Christian groups who have more applicants than they can deal with but no facilities. And little chance of getting too many permits to build new schools.
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  #17  
Old Jun 11, '12, 2:39 pm
Dale_M Dale_M is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by NewEnglandPriest View Post
I guess my question would be: what is the cost of educating a student there? Here in New England, IIRC, its around $6000 per student. I'm not sure the parish/diocese could sustain that here.
I am reluctant to compare the situation in Witchita Kansas, a largely rural area with a relatively low percentage of Catholics, with the situation of your area. However, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute published a report on Catholic education back in 2008 and it has some interesting information.

According to Bob Voboril, Superintendent of Schools for the Wichita diocese, the cost per pupil for Catholic students is roughly $3,500 in elementary and junior high schools and $5,000 in high school. Parishes with Catholic schools spend 80 to 90 percent of their budgets on education.

The history of the tuition free policy dates back to the late 1960s, when the pastor of one church began promoting a “stewardship way of life.” He challenged parishioners to donate 5% of their income to make their elementary school tuition-free. After meeting with success for a few years, he enlarged his request to 8% of income so that the high school could be tuition-free. Daily attendance was originally 220 students, now it is 800 students.

When Bishop Eugene Gerber assumed responsibility for the diocese in 1982, he spent two years studying the situation in that parish. He decided to make the call to stewardship a policy of the diocese, one which emphasized spirituality and not funding. The policy was never mandatory, but parishes found that it worked for them. By 1993, 75% of Catholic grade schools in the diocese had eliminated tuition. The majority of high schools were tuition free. By 2003, all Catholic schools in the diocese were following the policy of parish stewardship and tuition-free education

http://www.edexcellencemedia.net/pub...schools_08.pdf
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  #18  
Old Jun 12, '12, 7:00 am
He Man He Man is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by buffalo View Post
The parishioner has to be convinced that the school is a worthy investment. I do agree with you about stinginess.

1. Catholics that earn the most give the least as a % of income
2. The lowest earners give the most as a % of income.

And yes, a doubling of collection would give parishes many more educational options.

However, we shouldn't punish the children for the sins of the parents.

Follow the lead of the Diocese of Wichita which now a practicing Catholics child can go K-12 tuition free.

Problem is for those of us who went to, or are going to send out kids to private Catholic school not tied to a Church, we are left with a dilemma.

The school in question is $12k/year. I can't afford to tithe (despite it not being a mandate) and save/pay for tuition. The school is superior academically to the other parochail schools in the area, but also costs twice as much. Church donations do nothing for the tuition.

I'll likely try and aim for some middle ground, but even for one child, you are looking at $1000/month in savings.

I have heard most Catholic and Christian financial advisors consider Catholic school education and your "tithe" to be in the same class of savings. Is is greedy to treat your school payments in the same breathe as charitable donations?

I don't think pulling your kids out of Catholic School in order to give more to the poor is being a good parent, so that certainly isn't an option, and I don't believe in simply sending them to the cheapest Catholic school you can find is doing them a service unless that is all you can afford to do.

I guess I feel like in terms of education, your children deserve the best you can afford to give them, whaetevr that is, but what of charity?
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  #19  
Old Jun 12, '12, 7:04 am
He Man He Man is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by NewEnglandPriest View Post
I guess my question would be: what is the cost of educating a student there? Here in New England, IIRC, its around $6000 per student. I'm not sure the parish/diocese could sustain that here.

Same in Baltimore. Some are higher, some are lower, depending on quality. The private Catholic schools are all updwards of $10k, though there aren't very many. Parochail schools abound in this diocese.
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  #20  
Old Jun 12, '12, 7:09 am
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buffalo buffalo is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by He Man View Post
Problem is for those of us who went to, or are going to send out kids to private Catholic school not tied to a Church, we are left with a dilemma.

The school in question is $12k/year. I can't afford to tithe (despite it not being a mandate) and save/pay for tuition. The school is superior academically to the other parochail schools in the area, but also costs twice as much. Church donations do nothing for the tuition.

I'll likely try and aim for some middle ground, but even for one child, you are looking at $1000/month in savings.

I have heard most Catholic and Christian financial advisors consider Catholic school education and your "tithe" to be in the same class of savings. Is is greedy to treat your school payments in the same breathe as charitable donations?

I don't think pulling your kids out of Catholic School in order to give more to the poor is being a good parent, so that certainly isn't an option, and I don't believe in simply sending them to the cheapest Catholic school you can find is doing them a service unless that is all you can afford to do.

I guess I feel like in terms of education, your children deserve the best you can afford to give them, whaetevr that is, but what of charity?
Every Catholic School I know has an asking price and a discounted price based on income.
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IDvolution - God "breathed" the super language of DNA into the "kinds" in the creative act. Buffalo

"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is a thought of God."

“Science presupposes the trustworthy, intelligent structure of matter, the ‘design’ of creation.”

"A man of conscience, is one who never acquires tolerance, well- being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion, at the expense of truth."
Pope Benedict XVI

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  #21  
Old Jun 12, '12, 7:17 am
He Man He Man is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by buffalo View Post
Every Catholic School I know has an asking price and a discounted price based on income.

There is tuition assistance, but we wouldn't qualify. In the end, I am left wonder if I can truly consider Catholic tuition payments and the collection plate in the same breath, as is commonly purported. Like I said, the tution is $1000/month today, for one child. If we have 3-5 as we hope, holy moly - $3k - $5k/month (less multi-child discounts)! That's assuming the cost doesn't go up, which of course it will.

If every parishioner at our Church gave 100% of their salary during the collection, it wouldn't impact non-parochial school's tuition one bit, and would in effect raise the impact, since the more you give, the less you can afford to pay for tuition.

Whereas parochial school's tuition have a direct relation to the amount parishionners donate, private school's have an inverse relationship, in a sense. But I don't want to be stingy with charity either, and yet, I have an obligation to put my children's well being first (in my opinion...).
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  #22  
Old Jun 12, '12, 7:25 am
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buffalo buffalo is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by He Man View Post
There is tuition assistance, but we wouldn't qualify. In the end, I am left wonder if I can truly consider Catholic tuition payments and the collection plate in the same breath, as is commonly purported. Like I said, the tution is $1000/month today, for one child. If we have 3-5 as we hope, holy moly - $3k - $5k/month (less multi-child discounts)! That's assuming the cost doesn't go up, which of course it will.

If every parishioner at our Church gave 100% of their salary during the collection, it wouldn't impact non-parochial school's tuition one bit, and would in effect raise the impact, since the more you give, the less you can afford to pay for tuition.

Whereas parochial school's tuition have a direct relation to the amount parishionners donate, private school's have an inverse relationship, in a sense. But I don't want to be stingy with charity either, and yet, I have an obligation to put my children's well being first (in my opinion...).
I think you should talk to your pastor and or principal.

The Regional schools are being set up whereby the parishes without an attached school are assessed a % based on size. I am not sure if they have gotten to that point in your area.
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IDvolution - God "breathed" the super language of DNA into the "kinds" in the creative act. Buffalo

"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is a thought of God."

“Science presupposes the trustworthy, intelligent structure of matter, the ‘design’ of creation.”

"A man of conscience, is one who never acquires tolerance, well- being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion, at the expense of truth."
Pope Benedict XVI

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  #23  
Old Jun 12, '12, 7:28 am
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

We have truly private catholic schools (not part of the parish, and not sponsored by the diocesan education office) in the area here too. IMO, they are so expensive that in spite of the excellence they may have in instruction the environment can sometimes be one of exclusive private school rather than devoted catholic school. And IMO that's a bad thing. There are two things that tend to compete with catholic identity in a catholic school for the soul of the community: exclusivity and sports. In an awful lot of cases one or the other of these becomes the false idol that is worshipped instead of God. Investigate, be nosy, be pushy and find out what the place is like. If Christ truly is the center, then maybe it's worth the heroic sacrifice (especially if the parish schools DON"T have this focus). If Christ is a figurehead and Mammon is worshipped instead, RUN!
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  #24  
Old Jun 12, '12, 7:33 am
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buffalo buffalo is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by manualman View Post
We have truly private catholic schools (not part of the parish, and not sponsored by the diocesan education office) in the area here too. IMO, they are so expensive that in spite of the excellence they may have in instruction the environment can sometimes be one of exclusive private school rather than devoted catholic school. And IMO that's a bad thing. There are two things that tend to compete with catholic identity in a catholic school for the soul of the community: exclusivity and sports. In an awful lot of cases one or the other of these becomes the false idol that is worshipped instead of God. Investigate, be nosy, be pushy and find out what the place is like. If Christ truly is the center, then maybe it's worth the heroic sacrifice (especially if the parish schools DON"T have this focus). If Christ is a figurehead and Mammon is worshipped instead, RUN!

That is a wide spread problem. Many of them push the secualr education outcome with a side helping of Jesus. You are correct in sports being a problem too. No doubt the Catholic system has work to do.

One should demand the school be orthodox in teaching and have strong Catholic Identity. If they do not tell them that is the reason you are not choosing them.
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IDvolution - God "breathed" the super language of DNA into the "kinds" in the creative act. Buffalo

"We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is a thought of God."

“Science presupposes the trustworthy, intelligent structure of matter, the ‘design’ of creation.”

"A man of conscience, is one who never acquires tolerance, well- being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion, at the expense of truth."
Pope Benedict XVI

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  #25  
Old Jun 12, '12, 8:20 am
Trader Trader is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by Tobias2 View Post
Vouchers are not necessarily the answer. Many Christian schools refuse to take them as they come with strings. I wish the Catholic schools were as aware on this.

What is wrong with this picture?
This is a real problem if the voucher program is poorly designed. Indiana's plan only requires that the schools are accredited and that parental income limits are met. All voucher students accepted by private schools are required to meet the same standards as other students. That includes religion classes, if they are required for everyone else. While some voucher students here were asked to leave because they were not a good fit, the retention rate for first year voucher students is actually higher than the retention rate in our public schools.

It was also a big financial gain for the taxpayers because the vouchers for private schools cost less per student than the public schools. Our program has been a win-win for everyone. Only the teacher unions and a few anti-religion extremists are still opposed to vouchers in Indiana.

http://www.journalgazette.net/articl...3/1026/LOCAL04
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  #26  
Old Jun 12, '12, 8:22 am
NewEnglandPriest NewEnglandPriest is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by manualman View Post
Look out! You're starting to sound like me!
Secularism in schools all depends on where you are. In some communities its not bad, in others its like something out of a sci-fi movie. Either way, many parents are concerned that their children aren't being taught in a true "separation of Church and state" manner but rather in an anti-faith manner. Unfortunately for many of them Catholic education is simply too expensive.

Quote:
But all that said, it still can be done. We're barely above average family income in our area and make it work. I drive a 17 year old econocar, learned to do all my own car and home repairs, we drive and camp on vacation instead of fly/hotel and we have no cable TV. And we're broke. But we manage.
I wish more people had your attitude in the suburbs. Its amazing how large families used to live in tiny apartments and now tiny families live is large houses. Growing up my family did quite well, but that's because we did what you are doing. We didn't have anything new, but we had everything we needed. But I will say, in city parishes in my area the families are driving older cars, living in apartments or small homes, don't take vacations and still can't afford a Catholic school. So much for the social safety net of the liberal northeast...

Quote:
The key is that catholic schools have to demonstrate to faithful catholic parents that they are WORTH it. If they are just a typical secular school setup with 1/3 the budget and a religion class and monthly mass tacked on as afterthoughts, it ISN'T worth it. But if the faith permeates the place, the faculty and curriculum I'll sell my grandma's diamond heirloom ring before I'll send my kids off to a government school for their education and formation. (And don't kid yourself, there is no such thing as "values-free education").
Agreed, there's other private schools out there if someone only wants a secular education.
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  #27  
Old Jun 12, '12, 8:57 am
He Man He Man is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Originally Posted by manualman View Post
We have truly private catholic schools (not part of the parish, and not sponsored by the diocesan education office) in the area here too. IMO, they are so expensive that in spite of the excellence they may have in instruction the environment can sometimes be one of exclusive private school rather than devoted catholic school. And IMO that's a bad thing. There are two things that tend to compete with catholic identity in a catholic school for the soul of the community: exclusivity and sports. In an awful lot of cases one or the other of these becomes the false idol that is worshipped instead of God. Investigate, be nosy, be pushy and find out what the place is like. If Christ truly is the center, then maybe it's worth the heroic sacrifice (especially if the parish schools DON"T have this focus). If Christ is a figurehead and Mammon is worshipped instead, RUN!

Very true. The Catholic identity must come first. Once that list of faithful Catholic schools has been established, the parent can see which ones provide the best education within their budget. But a good education with no Catholic identity is a waste of money and obvious no-no.

Now if only I knew whether or not tuition counts as part of our tithe...
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  #28  
Old Jun 12, '12, 9:53 am
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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Now if only I knew whether or not tuition counts as part of our tithe...
I'd say yes, but the key word is "part." Our tuition budget is as large as our other giving budget, but in fairness our parish kicks in some of the tuition cost that we'd have to eat ourselves if we were non-parishioners.

But we think it's important for our kids to see us actually giving to the poor, so we still include organizations like Christian Foundation for Children and the Aging, sometimes Food for the Poor, and sometimes food assistance for families in need in our own parish so that our kids learn the value of caring for others beyond our immediate family. Volunteering time as well as treasure is another way you can plug holes in the giving budget.
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  #29  
Old Jun 12, '12, 1:07 pm
He Man He Man is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Schools in some cities show signs of life, helped by voucher program

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I'd say yes, but the key word is "part." Our tuition budget is as large as our other giving budget, but in fairness our parish kicks in some of the tuition cost that we'd have to eat ourselves if we were non-parishioners.

But we think it's important for our kids to see us actually giving to the poor, so we still include organizations like Christian Foundation for Children and the Aging, sometimes Food for the Poor, and sometimes food assistance for families in need in our own parish so that our kids learn the value of caring for others beyond our immediate family. Volunteering time as well as treasure is another way you can plug holes in the giving budget.
I agree on all counts. Not only could I not in good conscience cut out all charity, but it would send a message to my children about priorities I didn't want them to have. Yes, there education needs to come first, but I have never let it subsume our charitable giving. Time, talent, and treasure are all commodities within the Church.
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