Tuesday, February 19, 2013

CMH position on possible expansion of WI School Choice

It was recently announced that Governor Scott Walker will propose in his next state budget an expansion to the Wisconsin School Choice Program (vouchers), in such a way that families in the City of Waukesha might be eligible to attend private schools.  As a result, some CMH parents and community members have asked about CMH’s stance on this issue.

Simply put, we are going to take our time to study the matter thoroughly. 

The Archbishop of Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Catholic Conference are supporters of school choice, in part, because it affords parents greater freedom to exercise their rights and priorities.  At this time though, there is no expressed, blanket requirement for any Catholic school to participate.

For our part, CMH will monitor how the legislation develops and will make every effort to fully understand the administrative, structural, and financial implications of any potential participation.  That being said, a decision by the CMH Board of Directors and administration will be based primarily on a determination of how participation does, or does not, serve our mission of Catholic education.

In our Vision 2020 strategic plan, CMH reiterated its commitment to a diverse and inclusive community.  This is served, in part, by the extensive structure of tuition discounts and tuition assistance that amounts to nearly two million dollars per year.  Considerations of how a parental voucher program might assist in these mission priorities, and their financial requirements, will be thoroughly investigated.

As you know, CMH prides itself on its rigorous expectations not only of students, but for the participation and support from families.  We are proud of our history of lifting every student up to the academic and communal expectations that constitute The Memorial Way.  Whether it considers potential choice students, foreign students, or any of your children who might need extra assistance, we will critically consider how, or if, we can properly meet these mission-centered expectations by participation in any program.

We must patiently watch as the legislative and political processes play out.  Be assured that CMH will take its time to make the best possible decision.   A decision that will reflect our Catholic commitment to the community we serve and uphold the success we have shown in our mission of offering the best Catholic education.

Blessings to all of you in this season of Lent.

Our Lady of Memorial, pray for us!

Very Reverend Paul B. R. Hartmann, ‘84

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