Big “C” Catholic schools

Big “C” Catholic schools

Milwaukee has a school voucher plan that allows poor families to take $6,000 in tuition vouchers to the school of their choice, and for many of them that choice is a Catholic school. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says that this presents a dilemma to the Catholic schools:

But the rapidly changing student population in the Catholic schools in Milwaukee has come with its own set of issues: How can they teach theology to children who, increasingly, do not come from Catholic backgrounds? How can teaching staffs, which for years have been nearly all white, be diversified? And, for a school used to serving kids from one parish - kids often tightly connected by race, class and religion - how can the notion of what a Catholic school is, or should be, be broadened?

Broadened as in stripped. What’s the dilemma? These parents chose these schools exactly as they are. They knew coming in that the schools are Catholic and that their children would be taking Catholic religious education. This is nothing new. A good proportion of the enrollment of Catholic schools across the country are not Catholic, yet they take Catholic religious education.

Also notice the good liberal prejudice. They look first at the color of someone’s skin and assume that only someone of the same color can adequately teach children. It’s not about their qualifications or ability or experience, but their “diversity.”

Catholic schools have been diverse since the first one was founded in the US a couple of centuries ago. We’ve been way ahead of the today’s feel-good liberals, but in our case we actually accomplished something.

  • Bad, bad, bad thing.  Worst thing that can happen to the local Catholic community short of all-out persecution. 

    Now they cannot teach Catholic doctrine without apologizing for it—if they ever were, that is.

  • Is this just not typical!!!!.

    Parents choose the school for what it is: but those who “know better than the parents”  want to “diversify” it and ruin the school and the opportunities the parents are seeking for their children. If the school changes and becomes just an imitation of the public school then there is no point in it existing as a separate entity.

    However, if:

    1) The Catholic ethos is preserved at all costs, and Catholic doctrine remains as a “must” at the core of the curriculum, and,

    2) The Non Catholic parents accepts the above as an essential part of the enrolment contract, and also accepts that any attempt by the parent(s) to water down the above would lead to immediate termination of their child(ren)‘s enrolment at the school (i.e breaking the enrolment contract).

    then, it is arguable that the school is fulfilling the Lord’s instruction to “preach to all nations”, and making the doctrine of the church more widely known. Surely this is the mission of the Church.

    However, the dangers are also very clear, and close vigilance is essential.

    (P.S . In Australia, Catholic schools do enrol many non Catholic children, many of whom are Greek Orthodox. However to preserve the ehtos of the school, non Catholic enrolment is limited to a percentage determined by the Bishop through his Catholic education office. There is however some debate as to whether the Orthodox should be included in this percentage, or whether there should be a separate quota for them). 

  • FWIW, there’s a very lively debate going on in Milwaukee about all that.

    There are now five viable “alternative-Catholic” schools operating in the Milwaukee metro area.  In very general terms, they exist because of the silliness in both academic and religious curricula adopted by the Catholic parochial schools over the last 25 years or so.

    While the ‘alternative-Catholic’ schools are extremely tight on money (duuhhh), they are of mixed mind on the “choice” program, specifically because the old maxim holds:  he who pays the piper calls the tune.

    Where $6K/student would be a gold mine for these schools, and is an interesting temptation, to date NOT ONE of them has applied for “choice” status.

    The article points out that the ‘Catholicity’ of the choice-schools has been muted—but many of us would say that that’s “old news.”  It’s been muted, or strangled, or perverted, since about 1980, in varying degrees.