March Public Policy Updates

Public Policy and Political Action on Behalf of Catholic Schools

The Association’s mission statement and the expectations of its members call NCEA to provide leadership in shaping public policies and encouraging political actions that acknowledge and support the important role of Catholic schools in the United States, that affirm and support the rights of all parents to choose Catholic schools for their children, and advocates for the equitable participation of Catholic school students in federal education programs.

Federal Disaster Aid

The U. S. Department of Education is releasing funding and guidance pertaining to the states impacted by the hurricanes and wildfires last summer.

Two forms of aid will be available:

1) money to repair/ rebuild facilities

2)  financial assistance for education of students displaced by the disasters who were enrolled elsewhere.

States and territories impacted by the 2017 hurricanes and wildfires (Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are eligible for rebuild funding, retroactively.  The governors of those states were to have submitted applications to the US Department of Education by March 30.  Catholic schools in those states are eligible for the assistance in the form of services, equipment, materials, and property. The law requires that equitable services shall be provided in a timely manner to private schools.  If you have not been contacted by your district or state education agency do so immediately to assure timely and equitable participation.

The U.S. Department of Education is expected to soon issue guidance on separate assistance available to public and private school that are educating students who were displaced by the disasters.  It appears that this will be similar to the process used after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – parents will be given vouchers to sign over to the school.  Be prepared to provide data about how many students were enrolled from disaster impacted areas, the duration of their stay in the new school, and the name of the schools from which they came.

Annual Financial Report

Please be on the lookout for an e-mail from CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) that conducts the annual survey for NCEA.  We ask that all schools participate so we may obtain a robust data set with high quality information and resources to share with all of our schools and dioceses to assist with their planning.  If you have any questions, please contact Sr. Dale McDonald.