A Lament on the Shrinking of Summer

It’s the end of August; not so long ago this was still a lazy time to enjoy the last few days of summer. It used to be that Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer — not so any more.

The erosion of summer is driven mainly by the start of school. I have watched with sadness as the school year seems to begin earlier and earlier and earlier. In the Washington, D.C. area, some schools have been open for more than a week already. College classes start even earlier, early August in some cases; and new students who need an “orientation” generally arrive on campus even before the general student population.

What’s the big rush? Why are some people in such a big hurry to get back to the grind? Families have so little time to spend time together as it is! I hope that the concerns I express today will be seen as having spiritual components and not just as the complaints of an old curmudgeon.

The purpose of rest, both the Sabbath rest and vacation, is to enjoy the fruit of our labors. We should work to live; many today live to work. What is the point of having a livelihood if we never get the time to enjoy life? God commanded the Sabbath for many reasons, but among them was justice. He set forth a particular day of the week (Saturday) as well as other times (feasts) when work was forbidden so that all could rest. Without the collective agreement and commandment (under pain of sin), the rich get time off but the poor must still work to facilitate the leisure of the rich. God set forth a system that sought to prevent that injustice. All, including slaves and even beasts of burden, were to refrain from all but the most necessary work.

In our culture, Sunday has been the day of rest. Most who have better paying jobs get that day off. Before 1970, even the poor typically had Sundays off because most retail establishments were closed. Today, for our convenience, lower-paid store workers and restaurant staff must work.

It is the same with holidays and holy days. It used to be that days like Christmas, Good Friday, and Thanksgiving were days off for just about everyone. Non-essential operations were generally closed.

Today almost nothing — no day, no time — is sacred. Market demand and the need to get ahead of the competition drive this. Work, work, work; compete and strive to win. It is usually the poorest among us, however, who pay the greatest price for this.

Families also suffer; time together has steadily eroded over the years. The tradition of eating evening and weekend meals is all but gone. Sunday and holiday gatherings seem to be shorter and more perfunctory—if they occur at all. Summer itself is now on the chopping block. Churches are affected because the window in which we have to conduct summer festivals and Vacation Bible school is more limited.

I have been given numerous explanations as to why schools are champing at the bit to begin the year.

School officials (in both secular and Catholic schools) tell me that many parents are delighted that their children are back in school earlier, thus freeing them to do other things rather than minding the children. But what does that tell you about the vision of family life today? Shouldn’t families want extended time to vacation together and to engage in other local activities, Church offerings, and so forth? Shouldn’t parents enjoy spending time with their children? Shouldn’t they want to use the extra time in the summer to form them? Do parents have children merely to send them off to school, happy to be rid of them for a few hours? I hope not. I know that we all get a little tired, but I find it alarming that parents would be as eager for school to start as school officials insist is the case.

I am told that teachers require more days for professional development, thus forcing schools to open earlier in the year and/or close later in order to meet the required minimum number of days of student instruction. But professional days and ongoing certification have always been necessary. My mother was a teacher for over twenty years and teachers had professional days and took certification courses (mainly in the summer) back then. Teachers already have two and a half months away from classes. That’s a lot more vacation than most of the rest of us have. Is there a reason that teachers could not have most of June and July off and then return at the beginning of August for these sorts of things? If schools opened after Labor Day that would still give them more than a month for these activities.

Further I would argue that the impact of such a system is not a good one. It sets up a “death by a thousand cuts” throughout the school year as half-days, teacher in-service days, and professional days seem to eat into most weeks of the school year. In some school systems nearly every Friday is a half day for one reason or another. Working parents must juggle schedules all year long, not just in the summer when vacations are already common. Schools even collect a lot extra money running “aftercare” programs on those half-days of classes. Parents are not only deprived of time with their children, but they are pressured financially as well.

The school system is supposed to serve children, parents, and families, but it seems instead that the school systems have started ruling our lives and dictating our schedules. Even in Catholic and other private schools, parents who are already struggling just to afford the tuition must now also pay for additional childcare on those days when school is not in session or closes early.

My final concern is that school schedules carving away more and more of the summer from family time means that the formation of children shifts from the families to the schools. Is that really what we want? I would hope that parents would want to play the most significant role in forming their children. Parents should ask themselves if they want to raise their children or increasingly hand that task over to strangers. Sadly, as we all can see, many schools have become less and less places of teaching basic academic skills and more and more places of indoctrination into values that are often inimical to Catholic and biblical teachings. Although there are exceptions, the infiltration of secular and immoral ideologies into the curriculum has made major inroads in public schools.

I recommend we attack this problem by starting simply. Can we at least have the month of August back? How about an agreement not begin school until the Tuesday after Labor Day? It’s just a little thing, but the steady erosion of rest, family time, Church time, and “downtime” has taken a toll on our society in many ways. Here’s to summer … all of it!

In an age of many problematic trends in public education Catholics need to work harder to provide educational alternatives.

012214As we trend toward the end of January, Most dioceses sponsor some sort of “Catholic Schools Week” activities. With that in mind a few thoughts occur to me with regard to both the need for alternatives to public school, and the increasing difficulties related to Catholic schools.

Indeed, one of the great tragedies of modern Church life is the demise of Catholic Schools. They were founded at a time when Catholics did not want their children indoctrinated in Protestant and secular settings, largely inimical to the Catholic faith. Since faith and the salvation resulting from it was most precious gift of all, the thought of exposing their children to these dangers was of such a concern that parents, along with priests and religious made tremendous sacrifices to built, maintain and support Catholic Schools for their children.

The government, then as now, saw this as a threat, realizing that it could not easily influence Catholic children with modern sectarian notions and thereby build “good citizens” (read: loyal party members).

There were many showdowns where government officials spoke menacingly of Catholic Schools and sought to compel either public education, or to severely marginalize Catholic and other sectarian schools.

Most notably, President Ulysses Grant in 1875 indicated in a presidential address to Civil War veterans that, now that the Civil war was won, “The dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s but between patriotism and intelligence on one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.” He was referring to the Catholic Church when he said ‘superstition’ and went on to insist that there be no funding for Catholic schools and that Church property be taxed. (quoted in McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom pp. 91-93).

Hence public schools, (read: government schools) have long been seen as a necessary vehicle of the secular State, and others with secular agendas, to lay hold of the minds of young people. Catholics understood this and resisted it in an era when our faith was more important to us that it collectively is today.

The demise of Catholic Schools is complex. It is not merely that Catholic parents no longer rate the handing on of the faith as important as in the past, but also that many, parents and priests alike, had come to doubt that Catholic schools were any longer doing that effectively. The handing on of the Catholic faith to the young has become difficult in a broken culture of broken families. Further, some argue that Catholic Educational leaders became too enamored of public school ideologies and techniques.

Nevertheless we need Catholic schools more than ever before, and yet, just when we need them most they are going away, closing by the hundreds every year. Some say home schooling is filling the gap. For a few, yes, but the vast majority of Catholic children now go to government run secular schools where they are daily indoctrinated with trendy and often sinful teachings to include the immoral agenda of the homosexual lobby, condom obsessed sexual “teachings” and all sorts of deconstructionist and syncretistic notions that discredit faith, the Scriptures, and the meaning of the human person, and the existence of God. There is also the exaltation of science in a way inimical to faith, bogus notions of tolerance, agenda laden curricula etc.

I was recently made aware of an article in the Reader’s Digest. And while the article has several purposes beyond the scope of this article I write, I would like to excerpt aspects of the Reader’s Digest article that pertain here and encourage you to read the rest here: American Schools Damaging Kids?. As usual, the original text of the article is in bold, black italics. My comments are in plain red text.

Parents send their children to school with the best of intentions, believing that formal education is what kids need to become productive, happy adults. Many parents do have qualms about how well schools are performing, but the conventional wisdom is that these issues can be resolved with more money, better teachers, more challenging curricula, or more rigorous tests. But what if the real problem is school itself?

Yes our public schools are failing at almost every level. But the fact is they have become a closed system wherein the goal is really not that your kid knows anything at the end of the day, but that his “ticket gets punched” and he can go to the next level of the failing school system, and then to a “noteworthy” college, and get something called a diploma that supposedly opens doors to him after getting even more pieces of paper called a Masters Degree etc.

So the point isn’t really that your kid knows anything at the end of the day, but that they get their ticket punched for access to the American scene. Obviously the less tedious the process the better, so why care about higher standards? Why care if the kid has ever read the classics, knows their times tables, or can read or write above a 5th grade level? The point isn’t skill, its the punched ticket. Its an unhealthy symbiotic agreement.

The unfortunate fact is that one of our most cherished institutions is, by its very nature, failing our children and our society.

Yes, frankly most come out our schools performing very poorly in terms of basic skills such as reading, writing, grammar, basic mathematics, and the ability to think and communicate well.

Compulsory education has been a fixture of our culture now for several generations. President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are so enamored of it that they want even longer school days and years. –

And this is an old government technique, not unique to America, wherein the government wants more time with your kids than you. They want to be the main source of information, values and influence. Why? Power, party loyalty, an ability to craft the future and and bring the citizenry in line.

…Schools as we know them today are a product of history, not of research. The blueprint for them was developed during the Protestant Reformation, when schools were created to teach children to read the Bible, to believe Scripture without questioning it, and to obey authority figures without questioning them. –

Fair enough, the earliest schools in this country were founded with this religious purpose, prior to the American Revolution when most of the colonies had an official religious loyalty. But after the Revolution and the Constitution, things went more secular:

When schools were taken over by the state, made compulsory, and directed toward secular ends, the basic structure and methods of teaching remained unchanged. Subsequent attempts at reform have failed because they haven’t altered the basic blueprint…. The top-down, teach-and-test method, in which learning is motivated by a system of rewards and punishments rather than by curiosity or by any real desire to know, is well designed for indoctrination and obedience training but not much else. …

As a society, we tend to shrug off such findings. We’re not surprised that kids are unhappy in school. Some people even believe that the very unpleasantness of school is good for children, so they will learn to tolerate unpleasantness as preparation for real life. But there are plenty of opportunities to learn to tolerate unpleasantness without adding unpleasant schooling to the mix. Research has shown that people of all ages learn best when they are self-motivated, pursuing answers to questions that reflect their personal interests and achieving goals that they’ve set for themselves.

The article goes on to encourage other methods separate from government schools. To which I utter a hearty Amen.

My “Amen” is not regarding methodologies of education, (I am NOT a pedagogical expert);  but anything we can do to dismantle the secular and/or government stranglehold over modern education which has become little less than indoctrination and a big money grab is to be encouraged.

Am I too cynical? You decide. Comments are open both for rebuttals and different options.

Yes, I deeply regret the loss of Catholic schools but admit that too many of them had become weak on faith and were mere clones of the government schools. This is not true everywhere, but sadly it was too often the case. We can only pray that the ones that do remain open will focus on being true alternatives to government schools where the Catholic Faith is effectively handed on. In the mean time it can only be hoped that Americans in general and Catholics in particular become more sober about the increasingly negative trends in public (government) education. Higher priority needs to be given to Catholic alternatives.

Anti Christian Bigotry in California School District is Rebuked by Judge.

I have marveled over the years at the kind of fear and anger the Christian Faith generates in some sectors of our society. Even the suggestion that there might a a small nativity scene in a park, or Christmas tree near City Hall, or a display of the Ten Commandments often elicits a hew and cry and brings forth camera crews and elicits lawsuits. But the venom seems especially reserved  for symbols of the Christian faith in particular and to some extent the wider Judeo-Christian heritage. A reference from the Q’ran in school is seen by many of this same crowd to be “tolerant” and “diverse.”  But to quote the Bible is an egregious violation of the (so-called) separation of Church and State. A comedy skit on a TV show that even indirectly depicts Mohammad is bemoaned as intolerant and anti-Muslim (which it may be) but a photo of a crucifix submerged in urine is called “art” and receives funding from the National Endowment of the Arts. Well, you know the basic drill.

Most Americans are not offended by religious display. It remains a small but very vocal minority which seeks to remove all reference to America’s spiritual and religious heritage. And due to this movement’s particular hostility to things Christian one is left to conclude that we are not dealing with a rational objection here but rather one rooted in bigotry, hatred or at least aversion to the Christian faith.

The latest round in anti-Christian fervor has taken place in San Diego (Spanish, by the way and meaning “St. James”!)  California. I will excerpt the story here from briefing by the Thomas More Law Center and provide a few comments of my own in red. The Full briefing with other links can be found here: Poway School Board Continues Fight to Ban God  .

In a closed-session meeting held on Monday night, the Poway Unified School District board in San Diego, California, voted to appeal the ruling of Federal District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez that held school officials violated math teacher Bradley Johnson’s constitutional rights when they ordered him to remove two patriotic banners from the walls of his classroom because they referred to “God.” The appeal will be filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitNotice, the specific reason they said they wanted the posters removed was because they referred to God. The posters did not endorse a specific denomination or even reference Jesus, they simply mentioned God. Note too, they were all quotes from official US documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the National Seal, and the usual conclusion to any presidential speech: “God bless the United States of America.” Now the School officials SAY that they were concerned about references to God. But where they? As we shall see they allowed other religious references to remain. It would seem that their objections focused only only on religious references to God that emanated from the traditional Judeo-Christian heritage of this Nation’s past. This God has to go but other religious figures from Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu sources can stay. Also, as you will see anti-religious slogans were also permitted to remain. So, what are we dealing with here? Is it some sort of misguided but at least consistent and principled stance against any religious or sectarian display in public schools?  Obviously not. It is an inconsistent singling out of the Judeo-Christian heritage of this land and seems more bigoted than principled.

The banners included the phrases, “In God We Trust,” “One Nation Under God,” , “God Bless America.” [“All Men Are Created Equal, They Are Endowed By Their Creator.”]. The school district claimed Johnson’s banners, which had hung in his classroom for two decades without complaint, advocated an impermissible Judeo-Christian view point and may be offensive to a Muslim student. I could not find in any of the articles I read on this that a Muslim Student had actually complained. The School officials seem to have merely concluded that a Muslim student might be offended. But I wonder if they would? Muslims are not Christians but neither are they secular. If I were in a largely Muslim Country and saw references to Allah and was greated Allahu Akbar (God is Great) I would not be offended. After all I too think God is great. I do not share the Muslim faith or worship God under the title or vision of Allah. But somewhere I suspect that they and we are both striving for God. I think their notions of Him are quite flawed but I am surely not offended by references to Allah. It is always possible that a militant Muslim of some sort might be offended by a reference to “God” but the militants aren’t going to be pleased no matter what. So I seriously doubt that the average Muslim is going to be offended by a sign that says, “In God We Trust.”

However, the school district left untouched displays that included a 35 to 40 foot string of Tibetan prayer flags with images of Buddha; a poster with the lyrics from John Lennon’s anti-religion song “Imagine,” which begins, Imagine there’s no Heaven; a poster with Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi’s “7 Social Sins;” a poster of Muslim leader Malcolm X, and a poster of Buddhist leader Dali Lama. OK the gig is up, they’re singling out Christians and the Judeo-Christian Heritage.

In a public statement made shortly after the vote to appeal the ruling, School Board member Jeff Mangum stated, “[I]f this is allowed, what else can go up on the wall?” The board member’s question was answered by Judge Benitez, who noted in his ruling that school officials banned Johnson’s patriotic displays while permitting other teachers to display personal posters and banners promoting partisan political issues such as gay rights and environmental causes, including global warming. Looks like the Judge smelled a rat of rank hypocrisy and selective outrage

Judge Benitez’s 32-page opinion was strongly worded and critical of the Poway school districts aversion to God: “[The school district officials] apparently fear their students are incapable of dealing with diverse viewpoints that include God’s place in American history and culture. . . . That God places prominently in our Nation’s history does not create an Establishment Clause violation requiring curettage and disinfectant for Johnson’s public high school classroom walls. It is a matter of historical fact that our institutions and government actors have in past and present times given place to a supreme God.”

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed the federal lawsuit on Johnson’s behalf after the school district ordered him to take down his banners in January 2007. The Law Center vows to defend Judge Benitez’s ruling before the Ninth Circuit and to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary…..Robert Muise, the Thomas More Law Center Senior Trial Counsel handling the case, commented,…. [School Officials]  “have no objection to a 40-foot display of sacred, Tibetan prayer flags in a science classroom, among countless other religious and political displays. But they do have a personal objection to Mr. Johnson’s patriotic banners because they recognize a fundamental truth that school officials dislike: God plays a prominent role in our Nation’s history and heritage.”

The Ninth Circuit is unfortunately not friendly to traditional religion however. I suspect there may be trouble in this appeal but there is hope if it gets to the US Supreme Court which commonly overturns the 9th Circuit. An example of this happened very recently when the Supreme Court allowed a War memorial Cross to stand on a hill top on Federally owned land in California. You can read more of that here: Supreme Court overturns objection to cross on public land

This video summarizes the school case and even includes a little humor.

On Prudential Judgment and the Question of Corporal Punishment

There was an interesting debate segment today on Fox News on the topic of Corporal Punishment, or “paddling.”  You can see the debate, hosted by Megyn Kelly at the bottom of this post. (cf also Washington Post article).

Not having been born yesterday I realize that the concept of spanking children is controversial to say the least. Paddling children in school is almost unheard of today though I was surprised that it is still legal in over twenty states.

Prudential Judgment – The question of paddling and the use of corporal punishment in certain cases exists in an area of decision making known as “prudential judgments (or decisions).” Prudence is one of the four cardinal virtues and I recall from Thomistic Philosophy that it was defined as recta ratio agibilium (right reason applied to practice). Essentially Prudence is the virtue whereby we are able to properly judge, using sound reason and moral principles, the best way to come to a desired end. That it is called an act of judgment means that we have a decision to make as to best means to an end using the virtue of prudence.

Now “prudential judgments” are not mathematical in the sense that they may vary from person to person. Reasonable men and women may differ within limits as to what is the best means to attain a given end.  This is because circumstances may vary from case to case and from culture to culture. Prudential judgments consider many factors such as the individuals involved, the various means available, the circumstances that both precede and follow from an action, age and or gender factors, cultural norms, moral norms and the like. Hence, as already stated, reasonable people may often differ in prudential judgments.

I point this out because I have noticed that many people treat the question of paddling or similar forms of corporal punishment as something that should be an absolute moral norm. Either they think it should be absolutely and in all circumstances banned or they think it is something that should be prescribed in accord with biblical or other traditional norms. I think the moral absolutism is more common on the anti corporal punishment side but it does exist on both sides.

Corporal Punishment is a Prudential Judgment – In discussing a topic like this it seems important that we should remember that we ARE  talking about a prudential judgment. Parents will often make different judgments about whether this form of punishment is helpful unto achieving the end (e.g. discipline or maturity) which they seek. Since there are many variables in each situation there will be different approaches. If we see the debate in this light it may be more possible for us to allow variability without all the harshness. (It should  be clear that severe beatings causing serious or permanent harm are to be excluded from any notion of prudential judgment).

There are many other issues in our culture which involve prudential judgment. But we seem to live in a culture where we want to make lots of rules for each other. There ARE rules that are essential to make but there are also many areas that admit of variability within limits. (Even our recent discussion on modesty admits of certain prudential judgments within limits).

Other things in the Church admit of prudential judgment such as what kind of music to allow in the liturgy, how and when to apply the Church’s social justice tradition to specific issues, how and when bishops should discipline lay people or clerics who stray from Church teaching, what is the best catechetical method, etc. We are surely free to try and influence each other’s thinking and priorities but we also do well to keep charity in mind since, in prudential judgments, reasonable men and women may differ.

As for corporal punishment I will say it worked for me. I was paddled in school and occasionally spanked at home. My parents did not often spank us but when we were young there was what I would call a judicious use of it. In school I was taken to the Principal’s office and paddled on several occasions in my errant youth. I once recall that Mr. Bulware the principal turned the school PA system on once while I was paddled. This is because I and another boy started a school yard brawl and I and the other instigator were publicly paddled to dissuade others from such actions. For me these paddlings had a salutary effect and my behavior improved. The Principal was skilled in that he did not seriously harm me but my back side stung enough that I was encouraged to avoid the paddle in the future. As I say it several such paddlings to bring the lesson home but I learned that misbehavior had embarrassing and unpleasant consequences.

Now this is MY story I do not say that every one’s experience was mine. Comments are open and you will surely have your own thoughts. But remember, this is a matter of prudential judgment and reasonable people can and do differ.

In the video debate you will see all the women are respectful of each other though one wants to impose, through federal legislation, a ban on paddling. She is free to attempt that of course but here is where I wonder why our culture insists on legislating in prudential matters. What do you think?

We don’t teach them because THEY are Catholic; we teach them because WE are!

“We don’t teach them because THEY are Catholic; we teach them because WE are!” I have heard this quote attributed to the former Archbishop of Washington, James Cardinal Hickey. Apparently, this was the Cardinal’s response to a question of why Catholics should support a Catholic school that doesn’t have many Catholics among its student body.

Building up the Body of Christ

I think of the wisdom of Cardinal Hickey often in my ministry and his quote came to mind last week during a school Mass. Specifically, during communion, a guest in attendance noticed that several students did not approach the altar to receive the Eucharist. In fact, during communion, it is easy to observe that less than 30% of my students are Catholic. After the Mass, this person commented sarcastically saying, “I thought this was a Catholic School? Frankly, it doesn’t look too Catholic to me!”

Real Catholic Identity

I find myself often defending the Catholic identity of my school based on the percentage of Catholics enrolled.  In my particular case, how does a 182 year old school, owned by a rather traditional community of habited sisters, run by a permanent deacon and that has well-attended school Masses (even when they are optional), not seem Catholic? My verbal response to this comment was more measured than my actual emotions but, I said, “I just preached to hundreds of non-Catholics about the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our salvation. Where else does another Catholic priest, deacon or even a bishop get that opportunity?”

Go forth and teach the nations!

In the great commission, Jesus instructs us to “Go forth and teach the nations!” (Matthew 28;19-20). Non-Catholics are always invited to share our faith and can prayerfully participate in Mass without receiving communion. However, I suspect that this happens most often in an inner-city Catholic school. Now, does that mean all of my students convert to Catholicism prior to graduation? Certainly not. But, I do believe that anyone exposed to the truth will eventually be attracted to it. And, as Catholics, exposing the world to the truth of our faith is our  job!

Check out this wonderful article about 19 Baptisms in a Washington, DC Catholic Parish School.  St. Augustine’s  Catholic School – Way to go!!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/03/AR2010040303051.html

Opportunity Scholarships Provide Hope

What should we do when a public school system is failing it’s children? The first answer that comes to mind is that we should reform that school system. But what if that reform has been resisted for years by complex political and philosophical forces? What if, for decades a public school system that everyone admits is one of the poorest performing in the nation has not improved but has gotten worse? What if its buildings are in disrepair and more importantly its performance indicators remain steadfastly dismal? What to do with a school system that fails our children and fails to reform?

Well the answer is to provide successful alternatives for children and their families.  This has happened in the last number of years through a program called the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. The program is federally funded and provides children that qualify a voucher of up to $7,500 that they can use to enroll in a private school that will serve them well. Some of the families have chosen Catholic Schools, some have chosen other private schools. But the key point is that those families blessed to receive such assistance now have an alternative to failing public schools. There are many wonderful success stories that have emerged from the Opportunity Scholarship Program and I hope to share some of them with you in future posts.

But for now, I ask your prayers and attentiveness to the fact that Congress has refused to reauthorize this very effective program and wants to force many families back into a failing system that cannot serve their children effectively. The White House recently floated a “compromise” that would allow children in the system currently to see their days out to graduation but the fact is that President Obama wants the program to end too.

We have to pray and work to change minds and hearts on this matter. Too many children will suffer needlessly if Congress bows to political pressure from teachers unions and other interest groups. I repeat, whatever your political leanings, it is the children who lose in this political debate if vouchers are ended. Poorer families need quality educational alternatives if the cycles of poverty are to be broken for many of them. It is simply wrong to end a successful program when quality educational alternatives in the public sector are currently lacking. Consider well who we are punishing in this debate. It’s not conservatives, it’s not the Church, it’s not private schools, it’s the children.

Political action from across the political spectrum is beginning to rally around this issue. Today hearings were held in congress that you can see here:  HEARINGS I will edit and provide highlights in the next few days. In that hearing there are motions to reverse the decision to cancel the Opportunity Scholarship Program. Last week a rally was held with thousands attending to voice their support for vouchers. Lend your voice. Get informed by visiting the website  Opportunity Scholarship Website

Here is are video highlights from last week’s rally: