Dear Editor: Great column the challenges facing our Catholic elementary schools by Rita Piro (“Class Dismissed: Rethinking The Catholic School Model,” March 23).
As a retired educator in the Diocese of Brooklyn, I always wanted to see our elementary schools be free, attached to parish life and supported by the Catholics of the Diocese. Today, more than ever Catholic education needs to be re-established as a priority for Catholic parents.
Ms. Piro’s ideas of year-long educational, religious and social outreach of each of the elementary schools as well as devoted, instructionally prepared and financially awarded faculties are of importance for this to happen.
If all Catholics of a diocese were asked to provide and support a tuition-free elementary education for baptized Catholic children living within the boundaries of the school and a local parish church, what would happen? In my mind, only good things.
School and parish service hours would be required to be performed by the parents and in some cases by older students along with establishing and carrying out various fundraising programs run by the beneficiaries of the tuition-free gift of the Catholic community. Mass attendance and parish involvement would also be required. Non- Catholic students would be required to pay tuition and Catholic families that cannot supply service hours and who are in a position to pay tuition may do so. How great would it be if all Catholic children were enrolled in Catholic elementary schools!
ELEANOR R. MENNA