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March 22, 1996     The Message
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March 22, 1996
 

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12 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana School choice gets attention at state legis WASHINGTON (CNS) School choice has the attention of lobbyists and lawmakers alike as state legislatures across the country gear up to vote on various voucher propos- als. In Connecticut, Gov. John G. Rowland has promised to make school choice one of his top pri- orities. In Colorado lawmakers are looking at a voucher pro- gram for low-income families, and in Wisconsin the state Supreme Court heard oral ar- guments in a case involving a Milwaukee parental choice pro- gram. Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke announced March 7 he was forming a task force to study parental choice. Rowland's commission on school choice recently concluded its study of school-choice pro- posals and issued a report rec- ommending the use of state funds for tuition vouchers at private and Catholic schools. The report is expected to be a focal point in drawing up new legislation. "We're very happy with the commission's proposals, and be- lieve there's enough support in the Legislature to pass school choice this year," said Matthew Boyle, executive director of the Connecticut Federation of Catholic School Parents. Boyle and Father Thomas J. Barry, executive director of the Connecticut Catholic Confer- ence, the public policy arm of the state's Catholic bishops, have been lobbying the Legisla- ture for several years to create a voucher system. In previous years, the state Legislature has considered pro- posals to allow city and town governments to give school vouchers to families who qual- ify for free and reduced school- lunchprograms. But this year, the school- choice commission has linked school vouchers to Project Con- cern, an existing program that allows Hartford parents to send their children to public schools in the suburbs. The commission recom- mended that the students be al- lowed to attend not just subur- ban public schools, but also be given the choice of Catholic and other private schools. Parents would receive scholarships of up to half the amount the city Vincennes Bicknell Sandborn Monroe City, Princeton, Patoka Member F.D.I.C. l, i Illl Director of Music/Liturc y D'O-W'N'T'O-W'N 301 MAIN ST. VINCENNES, IN 47591 i ii i i RESTAURANT SPECIALIZING IN DELICIOUS GERMAN FOOD PRIME RIB CHARBROILED STEAQK COUNTRY FRIED CHICKEN SEAFOODS SALAD BAR BANQUET ROOM FOR PRIVATE PARTIES FOR ALL YOUR OIEPJN6 Nl)S, CAlL : t[ 482"26401  Hwy. 162s. 393 3rd. Ave., Jasper, IN i receives in state aid for each pupil. "For many students, the pri- vate (and Catholic) schools are the best option for a variety of reasons," said state representa- tive Paul Knierim, a Republi- can who is the commission's co- chairman. Knierim, a Catholic school graduate, told the Catholic Transcript, Hartford's arch- diocesan paper, that he is opti- mistic a school-voucher bill will pass the Legislature, but said he also expects changes will be made in the current proposals. In Colorado, Sister Judith Cauley, a Sister of St. Joseph of Cleveland and superintendent of schools for the Colorado Springs Diocese, testified before the state assembly in favor of a voucher initiative for low-in- come parents under considera- tion by the Legislature's appro- priations committee. "I fear that we are losing sight of children in the Ameri- can debates about education," she said. %Ve compare systems and put Band-Aid fLxes on sys- tems that do not work and need major systemic reform." Sister Cauley said school- choice initiatives have the "po- tential for breaking up the damaging racial, ethnic and so- cioeconomic isolation that is putting poor children at risk." In Madison, Wis., in oral ar- guments before the state Supreme Court, attorney Ken- neth Starr argued in favor of Milwaukee's parental choice program, saying it put all schools on equal footing and al- lowed parents to choose their children's education. Starr is a former U.S. solicitor general and now a federal investigator working on the Whitewater real estate controversy. The case before the court is to determine the constitutionality of using tuition vouchers from the state at religious schools. Although the court is not ex- pected to make a ruling until spring, either decision will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is expected to be a test case for other states with similar legislation. Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to provide state- funded vouchers for parents who want their children to at- tend religious schools. School choice was initiated in 1990 in Milwaukee for low-income fami- lies with children enrolled in private, nonsectarian schools. Amended school-choice legisla- tion, to include children en- rolled in religious schools, was passed by the state Legislature last June and signed into law in July. Justice William Bablitch said if the court rules that the choice law is constitutional, then it would be appropriate to say that the Legislature can apply aspects of the program to the entire state. "If we say you're (choice program) OK, there is nothing stopping the Legisla- ture from going all the way." Position Available Liturgist/Music Director Parish of 700 households seeks combined liturgist and music director with knowledge and love for Roman Catholic/Vatican II Liturgy. Demonstrated management skills for volunteers. Degrees or certifi- cates in liturgy and music preferred but not manda- tory. Competency in voice, choral direction, organ (AGO certified) and cantor training. Experience in co-ordination and formation of liturgical ministries. Salary and benefits commensurate with training and experience. Position available July 1, 1996. Send rsum6 and three references to: Search Committee St. Thomas More Church, 209 Wallace Lane, Paducah, KY 42001 Please reply by April 30, 1996. i An active suburban parish of 1,200 families, near Indianapolis, in the Diocese of Lafayette, is seeking a full-time director of music and liturgy to serve on parish staff. Responsibilities include liturgical planning, minister training and music leadership at parish celebrations. Strong keyboard and vocal skills required. Master's degree or equivalent experience needed. Send rdsumd by April 25 to: Fr. Jim Bates Our Lady of Grace 9900 E. 191st street Noblesville, Indiana 46060 Jeffrey Kassel, arguing against the constitutionality of the school-choice law, said the issue is whether the state can pay for religious education, and he said it cannot. After listening to the oral ar- guments, Sandra Smith, deputy superintendent of schools for 'the Milwaukee Archdiocese, said no matter the outcome of the case, "we're part of history." Catholic leaders in Baltimore hailed Schmoke's decision to form a nine-member task force to explore options involved in offering parents their choice of schools. Those options could in- clude creating a public school program for choice with magnet or chartered schools, a voucher GI Bill "I think very bold Valenti, supe Catholic more should be right of where.! to have their added, and choice dorsing about nomic parity Co were Dana Beth port, and Tina DL Bob and Corner Evansville Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 Paul Mayer, 2345 W. Oak Hill Pharmacy Plaz Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Weinbach Ave. Fast LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop. Ken and 425-4422 St. Theresa Parish, a vibrant faith families and 2000 members, is applicants for two positions: DIRECTOR OF LITURGY: Planning, Adult Choir, Handbe Liturgical Ministers. Musical expel keyboard skills important. Reply b PASTORAL ASSOCIATE/DRE; At initiating and implementing coordinates Religious Education, S (preschool), Sacramental preparation Group. Degree, excellent interpersonal administrative, collaborative and desired. Reply by May. 1, 1996. Both positions offer excellent salary, with education and experience, and benefits. Rdsumds to: :,,: Fr. Gene Schroeder St. Theresa Parish, 725 Evansville, IN 47711 Do you have the time and, needed to help the We are looking for loving willing to spend two to three helping someone in their home. The duties that you will be include preparation of a meal, light as is needed, and laundry as is ne visiting with the patient is al gratefully appreciated by the patient. For more information, please feel Heartland Home Health Care at: : ? (812)