By Archbishop William E. Lori
This week marks the start of a new school year. While many children may find the prospect of returning to class less than thrilling, many moms and dads think this is, as the song goes, “The most wonderful time of the year!”
Of course, moms and dads understand the value of an education and we are very blessed to have so many excellent schools in our area, including those in our own Catholic school system.
I wish to thank those parents who make great sacrifices to ensure their children are able to attend a Catholic school. Often parents will tell me the sacrifices that are required, but also how well worth that sacrifice their child’s Catholic education was. And studies support such anecdotal claims. According to the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education:
- 81% of students who graduate from Catholic schools attend college, compared to 44% of students in public schools. (99% of students graduate and 98% go on to college in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.)
- Students who attend Catholic schools are more likely to attend church and remain active Catholics as adults.
- Catholic school students are also more tolerant of diverse views, more likely to vote, more likely to be civically engaged, and earn higher wages than their public school peers.
- The gifts of Catholic schools are not limited to those who attend them; they are a blessing to our nation, forming active and self-giving citizens, while lowering costs for public schools – by educating 2.2 million children, Catholic schools save the nation $20 billion annually.
As we work to make Catholic schools more affordable and accessible while ensuring their continued academic excellence and robust Catholicity, please know how grateful we are to you for entrusting our dedicated teachers and school leaders with the education and formation of your children.
To learn more about the achievements of our students or for more information about Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, please visit www.archbalt.org/schools.