At a time when the state of Pennsylvania and city of Philadelphia are drastically cutting public school funding, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia wants a government bailout (“vouchers”) for his financially strapped private Catholic schools. The Archbishop proclaimed today as “Voucher Sunday” in an effort to rile up parishioners to lobby legislators for school vouchers.
The timing of this announcement is audacious.
The city of Philadelphia has recently announced that the fiscal situation of the city’s public schools is dire and that it intends to close dozens of schools. The Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, who is also Catholic and recently pushed for school vouchers, recently cut hundreds of millions of public education dollars from the proposed state budget. Also, the Catholic church has announced the closure of numerous Catholic schools in the city.
In his column, Chaput admitted that “Private donors have been generous” to Catholic schools. But he still wants a bailout from the government for his Catholic schools. The archbishop resorted to provoking his parishioners into begging the state for money. Chaput wrote: “This isn’t a ‘maybe.’ It’s a certainty driven by economic facts.” He even said that his schools are “financially unsustainable”. Yet, he wants the state to prop up these schools which he says are “financially unsustainable.”
Offering no support for his claim, Chaput even had the audacity to suggest that school vouchers save tax payers money, even as he is asking the state for more money! Welcome to the twisted logic of voucher proponents!
Archdiocese Spokeswoman Donna Farrell says support for school vouchers is a “question of fairness”. It is indeed a question of fairness. Is it a fair to ask the city or state taxpayers to pay for private Catholic education, when they are cutting funding for public education?