The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is urging Governor Wolf to halt his administration’s efforts to divert federal CARES Act money away from private schools.
Gov. Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Education are looking to take most of the funding that Congress wants distributed equitably in COVID-19 relief to all schools in the state and across the country, the PCC said.
Pennsylvania received $471 million in funding from Washington. But PCC Education Director Sean McAleer said, “The Pennsylvania Department of Education created its own set of rules to distribute that money that blatantly ignores federal guidance. The end result significantly lowers the amounts to be given to Catholic and nonpublic school students.”
McAleer broke down the disparity this way: “The Wolf Administration is calling for roughly $19 million to go to Catholic and nonpublic schools students, while Washington is calling for $66 million. The Wolf administration is misappropriating some $47 million in federal funds and harming families who have chosen to send their children to Catholic and nonpublic schools.”
The Diocese of Allentown Office of Education estimates that under the Governor’s plan, the 40 schools in the Diocese would receive about $2 million less than they would under the federal guidelines.
“Catholic and nonpublic school students matter,” said McAleer. “Governor Wolf, please follow the federal guidelines. In a time when thousands of Pennsylvania’s children and families are suffering and struggling to make ends meet, the administration has chosen to cause further harm by refusing to allocate money as directed by the federal government.”
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is based in Harrisburg and is the public affairs arm of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops.
You can visit https://www.pacatholic.org/resources/voter-voice/ page to send a message to the Secretary of Education in Pennsylvania in support of funding for Catholic Schools.