The Archbishop of Philadelphia had some interesting comments to make about the success of their plan to keep many of the catholic schools open in Philadelphia.
I was watching tv last Friday afternoon when the news broke into the afternoons programming... you know that breaking news headline that makes you hold your breath. Well, something did happen. The Archbishop of Philadelphia came on to make an announcement about their decision regarding the potential closing on several schools. The Archbishop announced that the 4 high schools would remain open because on many response of thousands of donations and the increase in tax credits, opportunity scholarships and EITC (whatever that is) funds and scholarships. Ok I thought I'm not in favor of using public money for private schools or projects but what could I do. So I listen to the rest of the broadcast and I almost fall over. Instead of thanking the government and politicians for their help in getting funds to keep the schools open he says they want more money and they want it right away, and if anyone does not support them in this endeavor that they will not support those people. In other words give us what we want or else. Really.....thats what you say.
Well, let me say something. First religious school of any kind should not get public money. No one forced you to build a school expressly for the purpose of religious teachings so pay for it yourself. Charge higher tuition. Second, if you want money from the public coffers then put money into the public coffers. In the middle ages the church negotiated a no taxes policy on the church with the kings and things have been that way eversince. NO taxes on property or income. Well the middle ages were over a long time ago so the agreement has outlived its time. Also, the church which still does not pay taxes does receive services such as police, fire and garbage pick-up so they are already getting money spent on them from the public coffers. They are already ahead of the game.
I've do not like this policy of public money going to religious or private concerns but now I'm looking at it as part of a larger agenda of the conservatives of shift wealth from the poor to the rich. I'm not saying that all of the people who go to catholic schools are rich but I would make a wager that many of them are not really poor. Also it perpetuates segregation. I was a product of catholic elementary school K-8 and the reason for our going there was that the closest public school was also one of the oldest and my parents wanted us going to a "newer" school not necessarily a catholic school and I can't help but feel that many parents feel that way now. The public schools are in disrepair and why send their children to a public school. Well, if we had done the right thing for the past 30 years and spend the money on the schools instead of constantly cutting money to try and reach the phony goal of balancing budgets maybe things would be better. Maybe, if we hadn't spent the last 20 years sending our jobs overseas the communities that these schools are part of would look like communities that have achieved the American dream instead of the American nightmare.
So Archbishop be grateful for the money you have received instead of threatening people into giving you more money. Remember you haven't given to the state for about 1200-1500 years and be happy we don't ask for retroactive collection of taxes.