Carol A. Kostyniak, Secretary for Catholic Education in the Diocese of Buffalo, had an interesting op-ed piece in last Sunday's Buffalo News.
She had recently attended the White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools hosted by the president. The event brought together 250 educators, policymakers, philanthropists and business and community leaders to develop local strategies to keep the doors of inner-city faith-based schools open to America’s disadvantaged students.
One paragraph that caught my eye says,
Margaret Spellings, U. S. secretary of education, has referred to inner-city faith-based schools as “national treasures.” Spellings hosted a panel that included Acting Secretary of HUD Roy Bernardi, on “Educational Options and America’s Cities.” The panel indicated that faith-based schools are often the stabilizing force in their neighborhoods. In addition to providing safe and academically rigorous environments, these schools have a positive influence on community stability, employment and reduction in crime. The panel concluded that protecting such schools is in the interest of the citizens and leaders of neighborhoods, cities, states and the nation. (emphasis added)
The article concludes with,
As the summit indicated, our children cannot wait until we turn around our nation’s failing public schools or build new ones. Parents and neighborhoods need the opportunities provided by their faith-based schools. It is up to our entire community to work to ensure the future of these national treasures and to ensure that future generations of children and their communities continue to reap the benefits of our faith-based schools. They are a legacy worth saving.