Bishop Amos shares thoughts on parental choice in education

By Barb Arland-Fye

Fifth-grader Gabriel Finks works on an assignment at John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Davenport. Bishop Martin Amos attended a conference in Washington, D.C., regarding education in Catholic schools last week.

Bishop Martin Amos participated in a conference focusing on parental choice in education, an invitation-only event sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education Jan. 15-16 in Washington, D.C. The conference’s title was K-12 Catholic Schools, Parental Choice and the Year of Faith.
With their facilitators, the 35 attendees — bishops, archbishops and cardinals — explored the promise of K-12 Catholic schools, Catholic school revitalization and a variety of parental choice issues.
Researchers “have found that when learning in a Catholic school is done in an environment replete with moral values and the practice of faith, its test scores and achievements outstrip public school counterparts,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote in an essay published Sept. 13 in America magazine. The cardinal, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, co-hosted the education conference with Bishop Joseph McFadden of the Diocese of Harrisburg.
Affordability is crucial to ensuring that all parents have a choice, the bishops noted. To that end, 13 states offer voucher programs; 11, including Iowa, offer tax credit programs that fund scholarships for students in need. One state provides education savings accounts.

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