Insights: CARES Funding for Private Schools; AB Lori on ‘BLM’

Catholic Books

Bishops Join Call to Prevent States from taking CARES Act Funding Non-Public School Students

The California Catholic Conference of Bishops has joined an amicus brief in a case aimed at ensuring that funding earmarked for non-public schools in the CARES Act be used by the states to help all students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  California and other states have sought to withhold most funding from non-public schools.

The CARES Act allocated $16 billion to support both public and private elementary schools impacted by the pandemic and directed the U.S. Department of Education to develop rules to that effect.  Despite the fact that Congress specifically stated that the funding was to be shared among public and non-public schools, a group of states and school districts is asking the Court to ignore the rules developed Department to implement Congress’ directive.

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USCCB Presses Congress for Emergency Aid for Catholic Schools 

On Thursday, the USCCB's Committee on Catholic Education cosigned a letter requesting that emergency aid to Catholic schools be included in the next federal COVID emergency relief package. 

"The economic devastation that has hit so many of America's families has made it impossible for many struggling families to continue paying tuition," the bishops wrote. "As a result, already 140 Catholic schools have permanently closed their doors, and hundreds more are in danger of being unable to open in the fall. The closure of schools that serve urban areas are disproportionately harmful to low-income and black children served by these schools."  

They continued, "Not only is this devastating to each of those school communities, their staff and business partners, but it has a detrimental impact on local taxpayers. For every student educated in a Catholic or non-public school, taxpayers save thousands of dollars. Nationwide, Catholic schools save state and local governments more than $20 billion annually." 

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Archbishop Lori: How church teaching can help explain why ‘Black Lives Matter’

Three of the most prominent words in today’s world are: Black Lives Matter. These words are emblazoned on streets, on public buildings and storefronts, on social media, in the windows of homes and indeed, at houses of worship. For some, these words are simply a call for racial justice long denied. For others, they are a call for fundamental changes in society. Many regard the words “Black Lives Matter” as self-evident. Others see them as divisive and partisan.

At the outset, it is important to clarify that my efforts here are not intended to address, and certainly not to endorse, the specific political organization legally known as the BlackLivesMatter Global Network. Many ideological platforms and tactical strategies promoted under the umbrella of the phrase “Black Lives Matter” are in direct contradiction to church teaching and should rightfully be rejected by faithful Catholics. Rather, the question before us as Catholics is this: Is there a truth reflected in these words that transcends partisan platforms and ideological constructs, a truth that indeed resonates with the Gospel values that flow from our faith?



From the Web:

Election 2020 Reminder: California’s Voter Information Guide is available for public view, as required by law, on the Secretary of State’s website. During this time, anyone may challenge content in the Guide by contacting the Secretary of State’s office. The Guide is available for review for one more week, until August 10, 2020 (More about the Guide here. Find a PDF of the Guide here).

State Monitoring List - There are now 38 counties on the Monitoring List, with the addition of San Mateo County, which represents approximately 95% of the state’s population (more about the Monitoring List here). He told the audience there are more sectorial restrictions in these counties, especially as it relates to opening the schools. The goal, he stated, is to have these counties off of the Monitoring List for two weeks before considering modifications to guidelines. The requirement to be off of the Monitoring List for 14-days is foundational to considering modifications to distance learning. 

How Schools Can Re-Open - The Guide for Schools is published on the Department of Public Health website (read more here). On July 17, 2020, updated guidance was released for childcare, day camps, and schools (read more here). California has also updated guidance for schools seeking waivers that will allow them to open.  You can read the waiver procedure here.


"In the next few weeks, I invite you to tackle together the pressing questions that the pandemic has brought to the fore, social ills above all. And we will do it in the light of the Gospel, of the theological virtues and of the principles of the Church’s social doctrine."  @Pontifex



August 7, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 27

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