Catholic school students, parents, teachers and administrators from throughout the Archdiocese gathered at the Kansas Capitol on Jan. 30 for the 2020 National School Choice Rally for a day of learning and celebration.
As Catholics, we believe that the school choice movement is about the right of parents to choose the appropriate education for their children, and that they should not be financially penalized for exercising their rights.
After a morning rally, students and leaders from Bishop Ward High School, St. Patrick Catholic School, and Xavier Catholic School joined CEF and Assoc. Superintendent Karen Kroh for an informative meeting with Kansas senators and other officials. Later in the day, leaders testified at a state House committee hearing in support of expanding the Kansas Low-Income Student Scholarship Program legislation, so that all low-income students could qualify.
As a registered Scholarship Granting Organization with the state of Kansas for this program, CEF currently provides about 260 students with these privately-funded scholarships to attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. The program also provides donors with a 70% state income tax credit for supporting these scholarships.
In February 2020, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Catholic Education issued this statement supporting parental choice in education: "Advocacy is not just the responsibility of parents and teachers, but of all members of the Catholic community. As the primary educators of their children, parents have the right to choose the school best suited for their children. The entire Catholic community should be encouraged to advocate for parental school choice and personal and corporate tax credits, which will help parents to fulfill their responsibility in educating their children."
Legislation is currently being considered in the Kansas House that would make these low-income scholarships available to more students throughout the state. Follow developments in the legislation here and on our Facebook page.