Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, released the following statement yesterday on efforts in Congress to support schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Every child, teacher, and staff member in every school—public, independent, and religious—has struggled with the Covid-19 pandemic afflicting America.
“The coronavirus does not discriminate based on where a child attends school. It does not discriminate based on what kind of school a teacher serves.
“As Congress continues to deliberate this week on Covid emergency relief, sadly, some of its membership seeks to discriminate against children, teachers, and staff who happen to attend or work in an independent or religious school by denying funds to sustain them during this nation’s ongoing, unprecedented health emergency.
“Religious and non-governmental schools educate approximately 10 percent of our nation’s schoolchildren, and accordingly save taxpayers billions of dollars on an annual basis. Many of these children are among our nation’s most vulnerable from high-needs communities, whose parents make enormous sacrifices for their education. They are no less afflicted by the coronavirus and no less entitled to emergency education funding from Congress commensurate with the amount provided to district public schools.
“I call on the U.S. Congress, starting with New York State’s distinguished delegation, to treat all schoolchildren, staff and teachers equally in providing emergency funding in the fight against this insidious coronavirus. Robust emergency aid for students in non-public schools must be included in any final Covid agreement this week.
“Again, coronavirus does not discriminate based on schooling. Neither should our representatives in the Congress of the United States.
“We do not want to say “bah humbug” to the 10% of our children in non-public schools.”