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A dramatic example of the great role that nonpublic education plays and has played in America is illustrated in some of our cities in New York State where over 50 percent of the schoolchildren attend nonpublic schools.

It does not require a slide rule or computer to estimate the great burden which would fall upon the public schools and the taxpayers of these cities if parents of nonpublic schoolchildren were compelled to transfer their children to public schools. The recent report of the President's Commission on School Finance focused upon the effect on public schools and taxpayers if nonpublic schools were to close:

Depending on the rate of closings and the size of public school classrooms that would be tolerated by various communities, the total increases in public school operating costs might run from as low as about $1.3 billion to as high as $3.2 billion, and the cost of building new facilities would range from $4.7 billion to just short of $10 billion. Some 70 percent of these total costs would be borne by seven States—California, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania–because they have the greatest concentrations of nonpublic students and the highest costs of public education and because their public school enrollments are not falling as rapidly as those in other areas (page 55).

The second part of our statement has to do with the national interest and how our Nation benefits from the work of nonpublic education.

We believe most sincerely that nonpublic education is good for the young people and good for the Nation. Individuals, families, local communities, the whole Nation profit from the instruction of children and young adults in the importance of a religious outlook on life that fosters love, honesty, and just dealings with their neighbors.

Treasury Secretary Shultz summarized before this committee the impact of the nonpublic schools on the national interest when he said:

We believe that the existing system of nonpublic schools, which educates a tenth of our children, is a vital national asset. The non-public school system provides a diversity which is healthy. It provides, in many instances, a proving ground for innovation and experimentation which is of great benefit to public education and the public generally. Large-scale closings of non-public schools, if allowed to continue, could be accompanied by disruption of countless communities and neighborhoods in which non-public schools are sources of pride and stability. We must do all we can to prevent this from happening.

The passage of tax credit legislation which your committee has under consideration is a matter of major importance for the parents of the 4 million children attending Catholic schools and, I believe, for every American, as well. I am concerned, as this committee is, about the future education of these children and the preservation of the freedom of choice of their parents. I am also concerned lest future generations of children may not have the educational opportunity afforded to today's children unless some action is taken by Congress to preserve this great national asset of nonpublic education.

The third section of our statement is devoted to the special service which our schools provide to the children of minority groups in America. It is important that all of us realize that these schools are not "exclusive private schools.” It is not now, and never will be, the policy of the Catholic schools of America to create havens for segregation of any kind and our adherence to the civil rights requirements stems from the conviction of moral principles and not just from legal necessity.

A recent survey revealed that 87 percent of the parents of parochial school children in New York City earned less than $10,000 a year, and one-third of these earned less than $5,000. Indeed, it is a fact that one in 10 of these parents lives below the national poverty level.

Our experience in the Archdiocese of New York is a clear testimony to this service of minorities and the poor. In the Bronx and Manhattan, our Catholic schools in the inner city continue to remain today as a singular asset serving the people of our minority communities. New immigrants and disadvantaged families have always been the special concern of parish schools. Today, more than 60 percent of all our elementary school students in Manhattan are black or Spanish speaking; 30 percent of them in the Bronx.

Catholic parents throughout the country are bearing a heavy burden to support their schools

. In fact, these parents today bear a twin burden which has become almost insuperable for them. In one way or another, they pay their share of public school taxes and at the same time they struggle to pay increased tuition costs to support the schools attended by their children. It is precisely because Catholic schools have been traditionally dedicated to the education of the poor that today's escalating costs of education have made the burden of our parents so increasingly difficult.

A final part of our statement refers to the constitutionality of the proposed legislation.

American Catholics firmly accept the principle of the separation of church and state as embodied in the great religious clauses of the first amendment. There are ample precedents which experienced constitutional lawyers have cited in advising us that such tax credit proposals do not violate this principle and fall within established constitutional guidelines. The whole history of tax benefits for private voluntary effort through deductions and credits is supportive of these proposals.

Catholic, Protestant and Jewish parents who seek this aid will continue to carry a heavy burden to support the education they choose. They are seeking a reasonable tax credit for the tuition that they pay to give their children the type of education they want. We believe this position is just, that it is in accordance with the Constitution and that, in the final effect, it will be of great benefit to our communities and to our Nation.

We feel that a tax credit for tuition paid would be an assurance to the parents of the children in nonpublic schools all over America that their basic freedom to chose the education of their youngsters will be preserved.

We support the concept that those low-income parents who do not pay sufficient taxes to enjoy the full benefit of the credit should receive assistance. These families are our special concern and we urge that any overall plan should assist these poorer parents to exercise their right to freedom of choice which they have as citizens of this great Nation.

Nonpublic schools have always been part of the great heritage of America. From the earliest days of our Nation, they have rendered a unique and tremendous service. How many of the leaders of this country have learned in these schools the lessons of citizenship, of brotherhood and of patriotism that enabled them to move forward to accomplish great things not only for God but also for their countrymen and for this great Nation.

The contribution of the American Catholic education system has not been merely in the area of economy. Although it has saved the American taxpayer billions upon billions of dollars, this is not, and never could be, its greatest contribution. Its great contribution is in the fostering of a true and worthwhile pluralism. Its great contribution is in the development of citizens with a strong sense of values. Its great contribution is in providing to a large segment of the American population a spirit that goes beyond the natural, a spirit that goes beyond the material, a spirit that goes beyond the purely secular and rings out across this land with an appreciation of the very principles which our forefathers enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution of our Nation.

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DIMENSIONS OF THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL EFFORT In the 1971-72 school year there were 10,829 Catholic elementary and secondary schools in the United States. Almost two million parents sent 4,022,508 children to these schools, where they were taught by more than 158,000 full-time teachers. Although their enrollment has dropped more than 1.5 million since the 1964-65 school year (when it reached the peak level of 5.6 million), Catholic schools continue to enroll about 81% of the more than five million nonpublic school students in the nation.

Nonpublic school enrollment is concentrated in eight of the nation's most populous states: New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, and Massachusetts. Eighty-three percent of such enrollment is found in metropolitan areas. In the nation's 20 largest cities, nearly two out of five school children are enrolled in nonpublic schools.

Ideologically and historically, the Catholic school is committed to the inner city. Consistent with this commitment, Catholic inner-city schools have not closed at a more rapid rate than Catholic urban, suburban, and rural schools. In 1970–71 black and Spanish-speaking pupils constituted 40% of the Catholic innercity school enrollment. Thirty-five percent of the black students in these inner-city schools were non-Catholic.

In 1970, 46% or 4, 117 of the Catholic elementary schools were located in urban and inner-city areas. These schools were attended by 50% of the total Catholic elementary school enrollment of 1.7 million students. Twenty-nine percent of Catholic elementary schools were located in small town and rural areas and were attended by 19.8% of Catholic elementary school students.

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At the secondary level in 1970–71, 54.2% or 1,072 Catholic secondary schools were located in urban and inner-city areas. Almost 60% or 605,080 of the Catholic secondary school students attended these schools. In 1970, 20.3% of Catholic secondary schools were located in small town and rural areas and were attended by 10.6% of Catholic secondary school students.

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The area of finances is the focal point of the various elements of the Catholic school crisis. Catholic elementary and secondary schools presently fall into three basic financial patterns. The 1970-71 funding patterns for these schools follow. Elementary schools are parish schools funded by parish subsidies (60%), tuition and fees (32%), and miscellaneous other income (8%). There are three types of Catholic high schools-parish, diocesan and private. Parish and diocesan high schools are funded by tuition and fees (61%), parish or diocesan subsidies (27%), and miscellaneous other income (12%), Private religious community high schools are funded by tuition and fees (80%), and all other income (20%).

In terms of national averages, the 1970–71 budgets for Catholic elementary schools projected a 17.5% increase over 1969–70. Current figures indicate not only that this 1970–71 increase did take place, but that a 30% increase was projected for the 1971-72 school vear.

The estimated per- upil cost for Catholic elementary schools in 1970–71 was $239; in 1971-72, v-ud, an increase of 12.1%. The estimated per-pupil cost for diocesan or parish high schools in 1970–71 was $490; in 1971–72, $531, an increase of 8.4%. For 1970–71 the estimated per-pupil cost for private high schools was $589; in 1971-72, $669, an increase of 13.5%. Subsidies, from either the parish, the diocese, or the religious community, must make up the difference between tuition and per-pupil costs. As in the public sector. Catholic school costs are increasing faster than is income.

Traditionally, Catholic elementary schools have charged very low tuitions, preferring to balance their budget with parish funds. However, this is changing drastically. For example, in 1970-71 about 71% of the elementary schools charged tuitions of less than $100, but during 1971-72 about 56% were charging between $100 and $300. This trend will continue and accelerate.

In 1970–71 high school tuition charges averaged $243 per pupil in diocesan or parish high schools and $436 per pupil in private high schools. In recent years parish and diocesan high school tuition has risen an average of 22% yearly and private schools have increased their charges about 12%-14% yearly.


An enterprise which serves the natiɔnal interest can legitimately be the object of public concern and appropriate forms of government assistance. This is a basic element of the rationale for government assistance to the supporters of nonpublic schools, including those under Catholic sponsorship. That Catholic schools do serve the national interest is apparent from a number of considerations.

1. Catholic schools provide quality education in secular fields of study, thus equipping their four million students with the knowledge and skills to contribute productively to the nation's economic, social, cultural and political life. The academic quality of the secular education offered in Catholic schools is attested to by the fact that attendance at these institutions universally satisfies the requirement of compulsory school attendance laws. Numerous independent sources testify to the quany of the secular education available in Catholic and other nonpublic schools; and the statement of the United States Supreme Court in 1968 speaks for many:

a wide segment of informed opinion, legislative and otherwise, has fou d that those schools do an acceptable job of providing secular education to their students parochial schools are performing, in addition to their sectarian function, the task of secular education.” (Justice Byron White in Board of Education vs. Allen/392 U.S. 236/)

2. Catholic schools render a significant service in educating the poor and disadvantaged. Studies document this service. (Cf. Nonpublic Education and the Public Good, page 9) A research study in Michigan found “more evidence of equality of opportunity in the church-related than in the public schools." A similar study in Chicago found that Catholic schools “were not, as had been charged, filtering off the most intelligent students in each area and leaving the dregs in the public schools. In fact, the Catholic school IQ's fell farther behind the public school IQ's in poor neighborhoods than in wealthy neighborhoods.”' It was also demonstrated that in Chicago “dollar out lays for instruction by the Catholic schools were more evenly distributed across neighborhoods of varying wealth than was the case with the public schools.”

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Non-white enrollment in Catholic schools is not particularly high, but neither is it particularly low. In 1970, 46% of the Catholic elementary schoo and 54.2% of the Catholic secondary schools were located in urban and inner-city areas. Black and Spanish-speaking students made up 40% of the enrollment in Catholic inner-city schools; 35% of the black students were non-Catholics. As for overall Catholic school enrollment, statistics compiled by the National Catholic Educational Association show that in the 1970–71 school year black students made up 5.1% of the total enrollment in Catholic elementary schools, Spanish students 5.2%, and Indian students .5% (a cumulative total of 10.8%). On the secondary level, the figures were: black 3.7%, Spanish, 3.5 %, and Indian, .2% (cumulatively, 7.4%). In 1967, 14.3% of Catholic elementary schools were located in the inner city; in 1968, 14.4%; in 1969, 14.6%; and in 1970, 13.3%. On the secondary level, the figures are: 1967, 12.9%; 1968, 12.7%; 1969, 12.4%; and 1970, 10.4%. These figures suggest that Catholic schools are making a commendable effort, in face of major economic problems (increased costs, decreased parish revenues, poverty of the inner-city population, population shifts, etc.), to include a significant number of non-white enrollees among their students and to remain open in inner-city areas. They also indicate that significant number of non-white parents have freely chosen these schools as the instrument for the formal education of their children. It is highly questionable, however, whether either the schools or the parents can long continue this effort, in face of rapidly rising educational costs, without assistance from public sources.

3. In major urban areas, Catholic schools are a force for population stabilization as well as for neighborhood and school integration. In the 20 largest cities of the nation, nonpublic schools enroll nearly two out of every five children. While it would perhaps be overstating the case to claim that access to a Catholic school is the decisive factor holding white families in center-city areas, nevertheless it is correct to say that "in changing neighborhoods of such cities exist balances so delicate that access to a school of choice affects a decision to move or stay.(Nonpublic Education and the Public Good, page 18) If, then, urban Catholic schools in increasing numbers close their doors in the future, this can only encourage the flight of whites from center cities to suburban areas and further increase a variety of urban ills, including the polarization already apparent in many American urban areas between “black” center cities and "white" suburbs.

4. The continued existence of Catholic schools constitutes a significant brake on rising taxpayers costs for public education. It has been estimated that the cost to the taxpayer resulting from transfer of all nonpublic school students to public schools might be on the order of $7.4 billion. (Nonpublic Education and the Public Good, pp. 19-20) Recently this conclusion has been questioned on grounds that declining birth rates have relieved the pressures on the nation's public schools and made it possible for them to absorb an influx of nonpublic school students without drastic cost increases or other strains. This ignores, however, the crucial fact that nonpublic school enrollment is not spread evenly over the country but is instead concentrated in certain areas. In the hypothetical case of a total closing of all nonpublic schools, seven large-population industrial states-New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, California, Ohio, and Michigan- would be required to absorb an estimated 73.2% of the total marginal current operating costs involved in transferring nonpublic school pupils to public schools. Furthermore, central cities would experience higher marginal operational costs than either suburban or rural areas. Even taking into account those states that have relatively few nonpublic school students, approximately 59% of the marginal costs would be concentrated in the nation's urban areas. In this situation, the estimated increase in total marginal costs for current operation incurred by the nation's public schools would be $1.2 billion. While closing of nonpublic schools might create few problems for public schools and taxpayers in areas of the country where nonpublic school enrollment is relatively low, it would create major difficulties in the populous states where this enrollment is extremely high as a proportion of total school enrollment.

5. In the realm of elan and morale, Catholic schools contribute to the total American educational enterprise in many ways. Numerically, at least, they constitute the only

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