Catholic Education Hangs in the Political Balance

Judy Roberts

Politicians like to say a child’s zip code shouldn’t determine his or her future, but what they propose to do about that can differ vastly, especially for students who attend Catholic schools.

Whether it’s aid for schools in the latest coronavirus relief bill or the education planks of presidential and party platforms, political leaders who claim they want to help children often draw the line at assisting those who happen to go to private schools. Instead, their solutions focus on getting more money to public schools, leaving students in private schools, even ones in poor zip codes, to fend for themselves.

At a time when the effect of the coronavirus on schools has heightened awareness of education, such differences are important considerations for voters, especially those with ties to Catholic and other private schools.

“The issue of education is extraordinarily important in every election, but in this election, it will be even more pronounced,” Brian Burch of Catholic Vote told the Register. “It will not simply be an issue for Catholics, as it often has been in the past, but also many others who are finding Catholic schools places of refuge in light of the limitations imposed by public-school systems because of the pandemic.”

Indeed, Ashley McGuire, senior fellow for The Catholic Association, said Catholic schools have stood out because of their efforts to reopen after the coronavirus shutdown while…