State budget cuts hurt Catholic schools

NORWALK While public school officials can be glad state legislators showed them more mercy than libr
susanmcmillan
May 24, 2010

 

NORWALK

While public school officials can be glad state legislators showed them more mercy than libraries or hospitals, parochial schools have less to be thankful for.

The new budget cuts aid to nonpublic schools by $59 million -- about 15 percent of what they received last year.

"It's going to impact us," Norwalk Catholic Schools president Walter Klimaski said. "We're not getting more dollars; we're losing dollars."

Klimaski and other officials were trying to figure out what the cuts would mean for the school, which has about 750 students. Cuts could be on the way.

"Either that or we have to go out and raise an additional 'x' number of dollars to buffer the loss," he said.

Sally Oberski, director of communications for the Toledo Diocese, said the state's cuts are in two key areas: auxiliary services and administrative cost reimbursement.

Auxiliary services pays for textbooks, computers, instructional materials and services such as school nurses and guidance counselors.

Administrative cost reimbursement goes toward administrative and clerical costs involved in attendance, transportation, teacher certification and many other areas.

Each is paid on a per-student basis. Oberski said the rate for auxiliary services is $532 per student this year, down $93. The administrative cost reimbursement is $250 per student, down $45.

"What's frustrating is that we've been cut 15 percent and public schools are only getting four percent cut, and they get all of this stimulus money coming in and we get nothing," Oberski said.

Judy Monaghan, superintendent of Sandusky Central Catholic Schools, said she wasn't sure exactly what the cuts represented for the school's budget, but the tuition freeze promised earlier this year will be maintained.

"Most of our monies are not state monies anyway," she said.