HARRISBURG (May 18, 2020) – The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference today urged Governor Tom Wolf to halt his administration’s efforts to divert federal CARES Act money away from private schools. The governor and the Pennsylvania Department of Education are looking to take away most of the funding for private schools that Congress wants distributed equitably in COVID-19 relief to ALL schools in Pennsylvania and across the country.
Pennsylvania received $471 million in funding from Washington D.C., but PCC Education Director Sean McAleer says, “The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) created its own set of rules to distribute that money that blatantly ignores federal guidance. The end result significantly lowers the amounts to be given to Catholic and nonpublic school students.”
McAleer broke down the disparity this way, saying, “The Wolf Administration is calling for roughly $19 million to go to Catholic and nonpublic school students, while Washington is calling for $66 million. The Wolf administration is misappropriating some $47 million in federal funds and harming families who have chosen to send their children to Catholic and nonpublic schools.”
“Catholic and nonpublic school students matter,” McAleer added. “Mr. Wolf, please follow the federal guidelines! In a time when thousands of Pennsylvania’s children and families are suffering and struggling to make ends meet, the administration has chosen to cause further harm by refusing to allocate money as directed by the federal government.”
The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference is based in Harrisburg and is the public affairs arm of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops.