Cardinal Dolan is encouraging Catholics in the archdiocese to ask their elected representatives in Congress for assistance to Catholic schools before the school year opens.
“The Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused disruption across many aspects of our daily lives, is having an especially profound impact on young people, including those in our Catholic schools, whose education is being altered or interrupted,” the cardinal said in a recent Flocknote.
The pandemic and resulting economic impact have dramatically reduced the number of parents who can afford to make tuition payments for the upcoming school year, he said. “Two weeks ago, I shared the sad news that 20 of our schools, already facing soaring deficits, would not be able to re-open this fall due to steep declines in enrollment. Without assistance to our parents and children from the federal government, many more of our Catholic schools may have to close permanently. These closures will harm thousands of students from our archdiocese, and across the nation.”
Many of the nation’s elected officials of both parties recognize the crisis that is confronting all schools, the cardinal continued, including Catholic and other non-government schools. “Congress is working on another bill to provide relief from the Covid crisis for critical parts of our economy and society such as our schools. Catholic and other non-government schools must be included in that relief.
“The time to make your voices heard is now,” the cardinal said. “If Congress does not provide assistance to our schools within the next few weeks before the school year opens, many parents may find themselves unable to meet even our modest tuition costs, and we will be forced to write you again announcing yet more school closures.
“Please contact your elected officials—Senator Chuck Schumer at (202) 224-6542 or (212) 486-4430, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at (202) 224-4451 or (212) 688-6262, and your local member of Congress,” he said, “and implore them to provide assistance to prevent our Catholic schools from closing permanently.”