January 22, 2015
Starting on Sunday, Jan. 25, Catholic schools in the Diocese of Paterson and across the nation will begin the celebration of Catholic Schools Week, marked by Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our Church, our communities and our nation.
Catholic Schools Week points out clearly that our Catholic schools are truly a gift to our nation in many beneficial ways.
They offer students an excellent education, second to none, grounded in faith and they produce graduates ready to excel at all levels in their next educational environment.
In addition, based on the average national public school cost per pupil of $12,054, Catholic schools provide $24 billion a year in savings for the nation.
Here in New Jersey, with one of the highest property tax rates in the nation, that cost per pupil is significantly higher — fueled in great part because every single municipality shoulders the cost of its own school system from top to bottom. That makes the savings from Catholic schools to our state’s property taxes even more profound. According to George Corwell, director of the Office of Education for the N.J. Catholic Conference, “The Catholic schools of New Jersey represent an investment in New Jersey’s future, and the sacrifices made by Catholic school parents save the state’s overburdened public school system (and local taxpayers) more than $1.3 billion annually.”
One would not even want to fathom how high property taxes in the state would be, if not for Catholic schools.
We hope during Catholic Schools Week that all New Jerseyans come to recognize the value Catholic schools provide for students and the significant opportunity they represent for parental choice in education in our state.