January 26, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated around our nation from January 26 – February 1, 2014. The theme for this year is Catholic Schools Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. This theme truly captures the essence of Catholic schools. Our schools strive to build community, share faith, increase our students’ knowledge of the faith and encourage them to give service. It has been my experience as I visit the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Rockville Centre that our administrators, teachers and parents are committed to making sure that each student lives up to his or her potential to learn and to be formed in the Catholic faith.
During my time as Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, I have been so impressed by the dedication to, interest in, and concern for each student that the administrators and teachers show each day, often at great personal sacrifice. To each of them I say thank you for all that you do to make our schools places where academic excellence is expected of all and where the Faith is taught, experienced and lived out on a daily basis.
Parents have a fundamental right and responsibility to make sure that their children are educated. All parents, whether they choose independent, religious or public school for their children bear additional expenses beyond what they pay in state and local taxes. As we see more and more, all schools need additional revenue to offset the rising costs of educating our children today.
The New York State Catholic Conference has been working to get the legislature to enact an education investment tax credit designed to increase individual and corporate donations for education. The goals of these initiatives are to:
- Provide a dollar-to-dollar state tax credit against the personal income tax and the corporate franchise tax for nations made to public schools and school districts, nonprofit organizations for providing instruction and programming to schools (e.g. arts, civics, etc.), education scholarship programs for public scholarship programs
- Provide school personnel with a tax credit for up to $75.00 for the purchase of classroom instructional materials and supplies.
I encourage you to go to the New York State Catholic Conference web site (www.nyscatholic.org) and become a member of the Catholic Advocacy Network. We need to work together so that we can strengthen both public and non-public schools in the State of New York. Tax credits would benefit all schools and enable additional funding for the many educational programs needed to insure that all students meet the standards for 21st Century learning and working.
We have much to be proud of in the Catholic elementary and high schools we have in the Diocese. The Catholic schools in the Diocese of Rockville Centre integrate technology into the curriculum and offer teachers staff development opportunities to meet the changing needs of educating students in the 21st Century. We invite you to come and see this for yourselves during Catholic Schools Week where you will experience our Communities of
Faith, Knowledge and Service.