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May 18, 2012

More than 500 high school students to speak about the need for school vouchers and expanded EITC at Masses throughout the weekend

At parishes across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Catholic high school students, parents and teachers will speak about the need for school vouchers and expanded Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) in the state of Pennsylvania. More than 500 students will stand up at the close of Mass on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 to share their experiences with Catholic education, what it means to them to attend a Catholic school and express how school vouchers and expanded EITC could improve their lives and the lives of families in their community.

Following the announcement of the Blue Ribbon Commission's recommendation to close four Archdiocesan High Schools and Archbishop Chaput's subsequent decision to keep them open due to the immense support demonstrated by Catholics and the wider community, Catholics throughout the region have been motivated and empowered to speak out about the need for the state legislature to pass school voucher legislation and expanded EITC. From Archbishop Chaput's decision, Catholic families have recognized the importance of creating greater access to Catholic schools - schools that provide a values-driven education with an impressive track record of academic, athletic and co-curricular success in the region.

In his May 16, 2012 column entitled "Why Catholic Schools Are Worth Saving" Archbishop Chaput said, "The next three weeks are crucial. These coming days will determine the success or failure of school-choice efforts in our Commonwealth. Our Catholic schools and the many students who benefit from them depend on your voice. I ask you - I urge you - to please contact your state representative and state senator. Call them. Write them. E-mail them. Visit them. Press your legislators to bring this bill up and support vouchers and increased EITC funding. It's so important. Please speak up now."

And, Catholics are speaking up at the 1,073 Masses this weekend in the Archdiocese. The talks being delivered by Catholic high school students, parents and teachers will focus on the need for legislation to be introduced and passed, which would provide parents with the financial resources to select the best school for their child. Rooted in the belief that such legislation will not only spur enrollment for private, faith-based and parochial schools, speakers will also focus on how the legislation can prove that a "rising tide can lift all boats" by improving "failing schools" across the state.

Please visit to read Archbishop Chaput's column, "Why Catholic Schools are Worth Saving."

Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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