In a hastily scheduled webinar this week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond apologized profusely to hundreds of leaders of private schools serving low-income families for delays in distributing tens of millions of dollars in federal Covid aid.
"We aren't asking for anything other than what public school kids need," said Kathleen Domingo, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church of California. "I don't understand why the department has been choosing to drag their feet in such a prolonged manner."
In an effort to keep schools open and students attending class in person, Governor Newsom on Wednesday announced a new proof of vaccination or weekly testing policy for all public and private school teachers in California.
Catholic and other private schools will soon have the opportunity to apply for $187.4 million the state of California will be receiving as part of the federal Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) funding.
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.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Catholic Church in California has supported and cooperated with public officials’ efforts to contain the spread of this deadly disease, including closing our schools and suspending public worship.
The U.S. Supreme Court delivered several victories for religious liberty and DACA recipients in recent weeks. The one significant life-related case, however, was disappointing as the Court ended its term for the year.