Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Catholic and Private School Families Continue to " Carry the Turf"

Photo: Children carrying turf to pay their school fees from 'The Graphic' on this day in 1888.
Children carrying turf to pay their school fees from 'The Graphic' on this day in 1888.

Paying tuition is an obligation parents assume when they want their children educated in America.   Public schools are paid for by tax payers, including the families who send their children to non-public schools - they pay twice; once, for every one else's children and again for their own.

Private education comes in several forms. There are what are known as Tier One schools - elite schools endowed and patronized by wealth. Schools such as University of Chicago Lab Schools, Latin School, Frances Parker, Lake Forest Academy and North Shore Country Day are Tier One schools - some rooted in a Mainline Protestant denomination past, or purely secular. These schools tend to have the highest tuition rates and are exclusive.

Then there are Parochial schools of which Catholic schools are the most prominent. There are Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, Jewish and Muslim schools. These schools operate on tuition and gifts alone for revenue and some are becoming almost as costly as Tier One schools.  Catholic schools have always depended upon the support of the parish, or a religious congregation.  Today, parishes struggle to maintain enrollment numbers that match tuition paying families.  Due to the decades of lost vocations to religious orders, Catholic schools are more often than not operated and managed by Catholic lay persons. Tuition support comes from lay operated foundations like the Big Shoulders Fund and private foundations.

Public Education outlaws Vouchers which would allow genuine, fair and reform inducing competition via its threats to and campaign financing of  members of both political parties in the Illinois legislature and local governments. That is how it is.

Catholic schools in America were founded by Irish immigrants very much familiar with "School Choice" policies in Ireland.    Catholic schools educated millions of Americans with standards that remain today in most Catholic schools.

Families continue to sacrifice for their children and students themselves are no strangers to the burdens placed on their parents, often working off tuition in the schools themselves.  They carry the turf.

Elected mediocrities (Durbin, Quinn, et al.)  who benefited from a Catholic education* are the most strident foes of School Reform.  They have selective memories linked only to pious platitudes mouthed at a St. Paddy's Day breakfast, or in a hall full of Hibernians. Memory is the first thing annihilated by tyrants, frauds and mediocrities.

Tuition is the turf you carry.

Irish hedge school heritage[hedge.jpg]
The hedge schools in Ireland were founded under the penal laws in Ireland in the 17th century. No Catholic could teach, no building could serve as a school, underpenalty of law.
Outlaw teachers
So it began that outlawed teachers taught children and traveling "strangers" in the open air. One child might serve as a lookout for the authorities. The teacher might get paid in butter or with a few shillings.
Classes taught included Latin, Greek, Arithmetic, Reading and Writing. Originally it was all done in the Irish language. The Irish language was one thing that theauthorities wanted to eradicate.
The end of the schools
As time went on, laws would allow for a school building, and the Irish actually got their own schools in the 19th century. Some hedge schools continued, but theyfaded from view and disappeared for the most part by the time of the famine.Student responsibilities
If necessary, each student was required to carry a brick or two of turf to school when it was cold outside. The turf would then supply heat during the school day for everyone.

 *School/Choice and Vouchers in Illinois3/1/2014 8:00:00 PM By Mike Yurgec -Contributor
As a parent of a child in Catholic school, every year I am faced with the same thing the rest of the parents face - the property tax bill. I am very troubled with the fact I pay for a public school system I never use. My child will never darken the doorstep of that building and yet, more that 60% of my property taxes go to fund that project. For us and many others, that is several thousand dollars a year going to a public funding project we will never use.We all know why we send our children to Catholic school. The reasons are many. But the underlying fact is we pay extra to send our children there in addition to funding a public school system our children will never use. This is "taxation without representation". If you recall, there was a revolution started over this in 1776.
I have heard other parents say, "I can't afford to send my child to Catholic school." The facts are these; YES - you can afford to send your child to Catholic school if you were allowed to spend the tax money confiscated from your bank account to fund a public school to pay for your child's tuition! You see, if we were allowed to spend our tax dollars to fund our child's education in a Catholic school system, there would be more funding for that system, more children in that system, and better results from that system. We could fund better schools and better pay for our teachers and administrators.
We need all of the Catholic parents across this state to stand up and be counted. If we all took the stand of "No School Choice - No Support" to our legislators, the law will change. It would have to change. According to the website, there are over 165,000 Catholic parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters in the Springfield Diocese alone. In Illinois, there are over 4,950,000 Catholics. The politicians have to listen to us at the risk of their own political peril!
Ask your local, state, and federal legislator this question, "Do you support school choice?" If not - why not?! And be sure to tell them your vote is vested in their position to support school choice. Please - do it now!
Thank you!
Mike Yurgec
Sherman Illinois

No comments: