Catholic Educators and Leaders on Conference Call with the White House

St. Benedict at Auburndale High School Principal Sondra Morris was privileged to be included on a “live” Conference Call with the White House this past Saturday afternoon, April 25. The call had more than 2,700 other Catholic leaders and educators throughout the United States, including others from our Catholic Diocese of Memphis.

Sondra said, “It was really extraordinary. You can tell the call was appreciated by all–and very important efforts and comments were made on behalf of U.S. Catholic Schools.”

For the call, President Donald Trump had with him Betsy DeVos, secretary-education, Dr. Ben Carson, secretary-housing and urban development, and Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President and a Catholic school graduate. U.S. Catholic leaders and educators included Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Sister Catherine Marie (of the wonderful Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist from Ann Arbor), principal of St. Isaac Jogues School in the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Michael Barber, Jesuit Bishop of Oakland and head of the committee on education of the USCCB.

President Trump kicked off the call with accolades for the Catholic schools of America, calling them “a source of strength, hope and opportunity,” where God–“the deepest source of our strength”–has a place. The call focused on discussing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Catholic schools and the need for policy solutions to further support Catholic schools during these challenging times now and in the future.

Here are some key points on the call…
· Catholic schools never stopped and are still educating their students during this implementation of the shelter-at-home policy due to COVID-19, while many government schools have ended for the year or did not provide distance learning at all
· Catholic schools historically provide greater results (98% graduate) and infinite value at half the cost of government schools (Average of $12,000/year per student for government schools compared to Average of $6,000/year per student for Catholic Schools)
· Catholic schools save the government $24 billion/year by providing education to all demographics in urban and rural areas
· Catholic schools provide, strength, hope and opportunity
· President Trump called Catholic schools a national treasure

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