If you’ve been paying any attention to the news for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that the atheists are taking over our public schools.  Kids can’t pray.  Christmas vacation has been replaced by a “winter break.”  Likewise, Easter break is now “spring break”.  Even minor holidays like Valentine’s Day and Halloween have taken on politically-correct, non-religious aliases.  But that’s the least of our worries.

Kids are being taught “revised” curricula where Church history isn’t taught, where great (Catholic) literature has disappeared, and where the benefits of abstinence aren’t part of sex education.  Some public schools, even at the grade school level, feel it’s their duty to pass out free condoms.  What’s a mother (and father) to do?

You really have three choices.  You can put your head firmly in the sand and send your kids to public school anyway, hoping you can monitor what they’re taught and counteract the foolishness when they’re at home.  Or, you can home school, an excellent choice but not one that most parents are comfortable with.  (It takes a lot of time and effort to teach them a full curriculum, especially when both parents work.

Of course, the final choice is to send them to a Catholic school.  While it’s expensive, it’s money well spent.  They’ll get a faith-based education, they’ll get more individual attention since class sizes are usually smaller than in public schools, and you can sleep at night knowing that their heads aren’t being filled with PC nonsense.

According to the National Catholic Education Association, there are just over 2 million students currently enrolled in almost 7,000 Catholic schools.  You can click the link to see more detailed stats, so I won’t repeat them here except to say that the average grade school tuition nationwide is $3,383 for elementary schools and $8,787 for secondary schools.

That may seem like a lot, especially if you have more than one child, but $3,383 breaks down to about $65.00 per week.  What makes financing Catholic school so difficult is that while you’re paying tuition to your parish school, you’re also supporting a public school system that you don’t use.  It’s high time the government started to give tax breaks to parochial school parents.  Imagine what would happen to the government school systems if those 7,000 Catholic schools suddenly closed their doors and 2,000,000 Catholic students suddenly showed up at their doors.  Giving Catholic parents tuition assistance would seem like a bargain.

But, I digress.  Catholic schools have a long history of providing quality education at reasonable costs.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost per child in our public schools is more than $10,000 per year.  That’s more than double the cost of a Catholic education.  Of course, if you’re sending a kid or two to the parish school, you’re footing both bills.

Here’s the thing.  Catholic schools are the best choice for quality education.  Across the US, local churches are making plans to improve the quality of our schools, and looking at creative ways to finance them.  Here in Saint Louis, Archbishop Carlson recently shared his Alive in Christ program, a long-range plan for our Catholic education system.  This plan, along with similar plans across the US will succeed, as long as we support it.  Will it cost money?  Of course.  Will it call for some sacrifices from each of us, whether we have kids in school, or if those days are in the past?  Yes, it will.  But we can’t afford NOT to support our schools.

As they always have, Catholic schools will continue to educate our children to become the leaders of tomorrow.  The list of graduates of Catholic schools who are leaders in our communities is too long to get into here.

Catholic schools offer the best possible education, both academically and spiritually, and that’s cool!

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