Now that I have school-aged children, I spend more time every time we move analyzing school districts. A friend of mine that lives where we are moving to next sends both their kids to Catholic elementary school, to the tune of about 9,000 dollars. Although I choked when I heard the cost, it didn’t surprise me too much. In Georgia, we ended up sending our oldest kid to kindergarten at the local Baptist school, which cost 150/month, instead of the Catholic school, which would have cost 650/month.
Hate to say it, but the Baptists got it right.
Catholic schools are too expensive for most people in a one-earner family. So we face the choice of either having both parents work, living paycheck to paycheck, or sending our kids to public school. Public schools don’t have the best track record of being friendly to Catholics, which means the parent staying at home has to spend a considerable amount of time educating the kids in the faith.
Given that too many parents don’t have a good understanding of the faith as it is, we’ve just setup a system that allows our kids to be plucked away from the Church.
I think we’re missing the mark on Catholic education. If we want a future generation, we should be educating our young parents in the faith. Poor understanding of the faith creates kids with a weak understanding of what they believe in, which sets them up to be lead astray in high school and college.
School choice is going to help as well. I think a large part of the negative reaction to Betsy DeVos is because she threatens to break the stranglehold of public elementary and middle schools, a stranglehold that has been contributing to an increasingly non-religious world.
Our future generation is caught in an education setup that is pushing them to leave the church. We would be wise to recognize that.