Did you know that the private, religious Catholic Schools of the Philadelphia Archdiocese are subsidized by the taxpayers of the state of Pennsylvania? It’s true; statewide, Catholic schools in Pennsylvania receive $9.5 million in every year in state subsidies so the religious schools can buy textbooks and workbooks. But this year, during the 101-day period when the state of Pennsylvania lacked a budget agreement, the Catholic Archdiocese of Pennsylvania fretted. Yes, the Archdiocese fretted that without the aid of state funding, area Catholic schools just wouldn’t be able to afford books for their students:
Bishop Joseph McFadden, supervising Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, says, especially with workbooks, this puts teachers behind the 8-ball:
“Since we don’t have the state funding for that, we can’t get them, it becomes very difficult for our teachers. A lot of them have started to make up their own little workbooks and it’s an added burden on the teachers, knowing they not only have to do the teaching but make the worksheets.”
Until the state budget impasse was resolved, why, the money just wasn’t there to buy workbooks for area Catholic schools. Oddly enough, however, there was enough money for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to cut a $50,000 check to a Ballot Question Committee in Maine, to be spent convincing Mainers that they really didn’t want to keep same-sex marriage legal. That check was cut on August 26, 2009, right smack dab in the middle of the 101-day Pennsylvania state budget mess, and right before the Archdiocese of Pennsylvania started telling news media that they just didn’t have any money to spare for the kids in their schools.
No money for Catholic schoolkids in Pennsylvania. Plenty of money for anti-gay campaigns in Maine. Priorities, priorities.