Sunday, October 12, 2008

Are Catholic Schools Elitist?

Hear what a Catholic school teacher has to say as reported in Zenit:

I (Ileana Salazar0 am a teacher at a Catholic High School where our own tuition is close to $10,000.00 a year. I agree that it is a high price for any parent to have to pay and I admire them for the sacrifices they make for their children. That being said, I do not agree that our Catholic schools are elitist.

People have to realize that it costs an exorbitant amount of money to run a school. Those of us who teach at Catholic schools do so with the full knowledge that we will struggle financially because of the low pay but we accept it lovingly for Christ and for our students.

Many of us teachers will never be able to afford our own homes, have newer cars, cease living with two or three roommates to afford to make rent or ever have enough to send our own children to private school either. Yet, we support our schools with a financial contribution from our own paychecks and we work at helping students with financial need.

I know the cost of receiving a Catholic education. I saw my single mother struggle to send us to parochial school and as an adult I chose to attend a Catholic University. I now owe over $100,000 in student loans but I for one, think it was worth every single penny even if it takes me my whole life to pay it back.

I understand that not every parent can afford to make these sacrifices but let's not start assuming that our Catholic schools are elitist. We need to find a way for our children to receive the education parents truly want for them.

And here’s an answer from Sandy Rongish of Wichita:

In the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, and we have an amazing success with stewardship. Our Catholic schools are full! We have over 3,000 high school kids in 3 schools and every grade school is full. The reason? Not because we all have tons of money, but because this diocese is entirely run on stewardship. We give of our time, talent, and treasure. We are asked to tithe 8% to our parish and there is no tuition charged to attend any of the Catholic schools. Each parish pays for every student that wants to go. Those whose children are grown and still tithe are helping to pay for the younger ones. It works wonderfully!

It appears that the answer is stewardship!

1 comment:

David Sharples said...

I would not necessarily describe today's Catholic schools as elitist; however I would describe them as seriously affected by a contraceptive culture, and thus are becoming (or have become) elitist.

1. Vocations to teach have disappeared and correspondingly costs have risen in part because:
a. Persons no longer believe in Church, they pick and choose. This affects Vocations.
b. Minimal children (future vocations) are being born.

2. Costs have also increased because to stay in business, and demand a high price tag ($4k for grade school in my area, and $10K for HS), the schools have tooled up and spent more money on sports, programs, and advanced course work meant for top colleges.

3. The schools aggressively market to families with one or two children, parents who if the happen to be Catholic, for the most part in my experience do not follow what the Church teaches and use contraceptives and abortifacients. It's definitely true that NFP works, but it also has the effect of opening a couple to Life, whereas they may have had 1-2 children, they have 3-4 or more. In other words, the families that are indeed trying to be truly faithful, are priced out of the market. And it has become just that, a market.

My question is simply this:
Where are the Shepherd's Voice(s) in all of this?

David