School Choice & Charters

Spellings to Catholic Schools: Expand Tutoring

By Michelle R. Davis — March 08, 2005 2 min read

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings last week called on the nation’s Roman Catholic schools to become active in providing tutoring to public school students under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

“The president and I hope you will consider becoming providers of supplemental educational services,” Ms. Spellings told the annual congressional-advocacy session of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, held in Washington on Feb. 28. “Thousands of students in our communities could benefit from the knowledge and skill of your teachers.”

Under the law, public schools that fail to meet improvement goals for two consecutive years must provide transportation for students to transfer to another public school if they wish. After a third year of failing to make adequate yearly progress, districts must offer the opportunity for free after-school tutoring.

Federal funding pays for the tutoring, which is being performed by a wide variety of state-approved organizations, including private tutoring companies and some religiously based groups.

Secretary Spellings said providing tutoring “can also help students not on your everyday attendance lists.”

Two Catholic school systems, run by the Diocese of Memphis and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, were approved to provide tutoring at the start of this school year. But neither currently is tutoring any students.

The Diocese of Memphis hasn’t started its program yet. And the seven participating Catholic schools in Philadelphia didn’t attract enough eligible students to make it worthwhile to carry out the program, said Bill Tangradi, an archdiocese official.

Parent’s Perspective

Ms. Spellings noted that her eldest daughter attends a Catholic high school, while her youngest daughter attends a public middle school. “In both cases, I made decisions to best serve the individual needs of my daughters,” she said. “School choice is more than just a catchphrase in my family; it is a way of life.”

The secretary called attention to the federal program that provides students from low-income families in the District of Columbia with vouchers worth up to $7,500 to attend private schools of their choice. Six hundred of the approximately 1,000 students who are in the program are using the vouchers to attend Catholic schools, she said.

Ms. Spellings pointed out that President Bush’s proposed fiscal 2006 budget would provide $50 million for a new Choice Incentive Fund, which, she said, would help districts develop school choice programs similar to the one in the nation’s capital.

Maria A. Powell, an education official for the Catholic bishops’ conference, said she was pleased to have an education secretary with close knowledge of Catholic education.

“As a consumer, she has firsthand experience,” Ms. Powell said. “That’s always valuable.”

Assistant Editor Mary Ann Zehr contributed to this report.
A version of this article appeared in the March 09, 2005 edition of Education Week as Spellings to Catholic Schools: Expand Tutoring

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy to Advance Educational Equity
Schools are welcoming students back into buildings for full-time in-person instruction in a few short weeks and now is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and systems to build
Content provided by PowerMyLearning
Classroom Technology Webinar Making Big Technology Decisions: Advice for District Leaders, Principals, and Teachers
Educators at all levels make decisions that can have a huge impact on students. That’s especially true when it comes to the use of technology, which was activated like never before to help students learn
Professional Development Webinar Expand Digital Learning by Expanding Teacher Training
This discussion will examine how things have changed and offer guidance on smart, cost-effective ways to expand digital learning efforts and train teachers to maximize the use of new technologies for learning.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Virtual Charters in Hot Water Again. Accusations of Fraud Prompt $150M Lawsuit
Indiana officials seek to recoup more than $150 million they say was either wrongly obtained or misspent by a consortium of virtual schools.
Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star
2 min read
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. Rokita filed a lawsuit against a group of online charter schools accused of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
School Choice & Charters How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement
State lawmakers got a new talking point as they pushed to create and expand programs to send students to private schools.
8 min read
Collage showing two boys in classroom during pandemic wearing masks with cropped photo of feet and arrows going in different directions.
Collage by Gina Tomko/EducationWeek (Images: Getty)
School Choice & Charters Opinion Taking Stock After 30 Years of Charter Schools
Rick Hess speaks with Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on charter schools turning 30.
8 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters In Fight Over Millions of Dollars for Charter Schools, a Marijuana Tax May Bring Peace
The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously to rescind a polarizing lawsuit settlement, pending certain stipulations.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman
3 min read
Money bills cash funds close up Getty
Getty