The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is urging passage of a new bill sponsored by Congressman Jim Talent that would award scholarships to the parents of indigent children. The bill would allow parents to choose from a wide variety of schools, including private religious schools. Known as the Community Renewal Project Act of 1996, the bill is aimed at many aspects of “moral renewal,” ranging from economic empowerment to family solidarity.
Catholic League president William Donohue endorsed the legislation today:
“The Community Renewal Project is badly needed. Congressman Talent’s bill would grant scholarships to the parents of poor children that would enable them to choose the school of their choice. By doing so, the bill would go a long way toward breaking the gridlock of poverty and despair that many inner city children suffer.
“There is overwhelming evidence that Catholic schools do a superior job of educating children. Nowhere is this success more recognizable than in urban minority communities. Catholic schools offer moral, as well as academic, excellence, and have done more to provide upward mobility to indigent youngsters than any other source. It is high time government put its money where it can have the greatest growth potential.
“By granting scholarships to localities that would then grant them to parents, this bill bypasses the legal problems associated with other bills. Those who champion the interests of the poor and are supportive of religious freedom will want to see this bill passed.”
The Catholic League is the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization. It defends individual Catholics and the institutional Church from defamation and discrimination.