Thursday, December 1, 2011

Maybe our Founding Fathers were on to something with that whole pesky, inconvenient “separation of church and state” thing.

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1000 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators and members of the press via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

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My understanding is that for 28 days the Diocese's $2.9 million in state EITC scholarships (did I mention that there is no fiscal or academic performance accountability in the EITC program?) were part of the assistance threatened to be withheld from parents who did not actively lobby their legislators for the voucher bill.


So state funds were being used by a church to lobby the state legislature to obtain more state funds for that church.  Maybe our Founding Fathers were on to something with that whole pesky, inconvenient "separation of church and state" thing.

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According to the article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "currently, the diocese receives tuition-assistance funding from two sources: the Scholastic Opportunity Scholarships fund and the Bishop's Education Fund. The SOS fund -- which distributed $2.9 million in grants to more than 3,800 students in the 2010-11 school year, comes from the Education Improvement Tax Credit, which allows businesses to provide scholarship money to private parochial schools in exchange for tax credits." 

Posted at 01:58 PM ET, 11/30/2011

Washington Post : Diocese letter pushed principals to promote vouchers

Washington Post Answer Sheet Blog By Valerie Strauss
Just how involved did the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh get in the effort to promote vouchers? Very.

Voucher Mea Culpa: Pa. Church Leaders Recant Lobby-Or-Else Order To Needy Parochial School Parents

Americans United for Separation of Church and State
November 30, 2011 by Simon Brown in Wall of Separation Blog
The Catholic hierarchy in Pennsylvania experienced a teachable moment recently when one of its officials demanded that needy parents lobby lawmakers for a school voucher bill or lose tuition assistance their children are receiving to attend parochial school.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

Saving Catholic Education

Over 50 years, the U.S. Catholic school population has dropped by almost two-thirds.

Wall Street Journal Opinion By RICHARD RIORDAN

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Catholic Education Foundation announced a campaign to raise $100 million for Catholic schools in our area.
Mr. Riordan, who was mayor of Los Angeles from 1993 to 2001, is the founding president of the Los Angeles Catholic Education Foundation.


West Chester write-in VOTE member wins school board seat

By Anthony Campisi, Inquirer Staff Writer, December 1, 2011

A candidate who was part of an unprecedented write-in campaign in November won a seat on the West Chester Area school board, according to official results certified Wednesday.

Sue Tiernan, a retired educator and school administrator, won the last of five seats on the nine-member board that were up for election.


Report finds Chicago charters struggling like other CPS schools

Poverty dogs students despite schools' flexibility, autonomy

By Joel Hood and Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah, Chicago Tribune reporters
12:08 a.m. CST, November 30, 2011
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other city leaders have long heralded charter schools' innovative approach to education, but new research suggests many charters in Chicago are performing no better than traditional neighborhood schools and some are actually doing much worse.

In Upper St. Clair, perhaps an innovative "outside the box" solution to state education funding cuts

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