Catholic School Closures Could Increase Tax Burden and Cause Overcrowding
Joan Hellyer reports on two of the most significant side effects of the Philadelphia Catholic school closures — the impact on local public schools and the impact on taxes:
“This may severely challenge our school district, which has been experiencing increased elementary school enrollment coupled with severe state budget cuts,” Bristol Township Superintendent Samuel Lee said.
Hellyer’s article continues,
“We are saddened by the plight of the Catholic schools and have great compassion for the families that have supported them through the generations,” Lee said. “Catholic schools have made many contributions to our area and have helped to lighten the tax burden for our residents.”
If all Catholic schools in the United States suddenly closed, public schools around the country would have to find enough teachers and seats for over two million students. According to statistics from the National Center for Education, the average cost per pupil in public schools is $10,297. Two million more students in the public school system would require another 20 billion dollars in taxes to cover their costs.
That’s not a typo: Catholic schools save the country 20 billion dollars in taxes.
Besides providing necessary catechesis and high quality, comprehensive human formation for their own students, Catholic schools are good for the community and for the country in very concrete ways. It is in everyone’s interests to make the United States a place where parochial schools can survive alongside a healthy public school system. And it is the responsibility of every Catholic to help their local Catholic school be spiritually, academically, and financially viable.