Bishop Ricken

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The Most Rev. David L. Ricken is the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay.

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In support of school vouchers

By | February 28, 2013

It has been shown that vouchers provide an economical way for a state to provide quality education. As a matter of fact, vouchers may save money for taxpayers. In many cases, vouchers cost less to provide than the per-pupil cost to educate a student in a public school.

In our current system, many parents actually end up paying twice for education. Tax dollars, including a percentage of property taxes, are paid to support public education. Then, parents must step up again to pay their children’s private school tuition and fees, if they choose to give them this faith- and values-based learning.

Most people can’t afford to pay for education twice. This becomes cost-prohibitive. Therefore, parents may often be left with no personal choice as to where their children attend school. It is unjust that a parent’s socio-economic status should limit these choices.

The Catholic Church stands for the principle of “subsidiarity” — meaning that, in many cases, the best decisions can be made at a local level. Government should not monopolize prekindergarten through 12th grade education. Rather, government funding should follow the individual student to the school selected by his or her parents. Government should, in fact, support parental choices when it comes to education.

I would encourage each of you to do more research on the advantages of vouchers for education. Make your voice heard by our local and state representatives. Let them know that you support the right of parents to choose where their children will be educated.

May God bless each and every one of you — parents, grandparents and guardians — who currently sacrifice to give the children in your lives the best possible education.

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