Leadership Symposium Early Bird Deadline Approaching | Join K-12 leaders nationwide for three days of empowering strategies, networking, and inspiration! Discounted pricing ends March 1. Register today.
School Choice & Charters

Spellings to Catholic Schools: Expand Tutoring

By Michelle R. Davis — March 08, 2005 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Science of Reading: Emphasis on Language Comprehension
Dive into language comprehension through a breakdown of the Science of Reading with an interactive demonstration.
Content provided by Be GLAD
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.

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 Tracker Which States Have Private School Choice?
Education savings accounts, voucher, and tax-credit scholarships are growing. This tracker keeps tabs on them so you don't have to.
School Choice & Charters Opinion What's the State of Charter Schools Today?
Even though there's momentum behind the charter school movement, charters face many of the same challenges as traditional public schools.
10 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters As Private School Choice Grows, Critics Push for More Guardrails
Calls are growing for more scrutiny over where state funds for private school choice go and how students are faring in the classroom.
7 min read
Illustration of completed tasks, accomplishment, finished checklist, achievement or project progression concept. Person holding pencil tick all completed task checkbox.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
School Choice & Charters How a District Hopes to Save an ESSER-Funded Program
As a one-time infusion of federal funding expires, districts are searching for creative ways to keep programs they funded with it running.
6 min read
Chicago charter school teacher Angela McByrd works on her laptop to teach remotely from her home in Chicago, Sept. 24, 2020.
Chicago charter school teacher Angela McByrd works on her laptop to teach remotely from her home in Chicago, Sept. 24, 2020. In Montana, a district hopes to save a virtual instruction program by converting it into a charter school.
Nam Y. Huh/AP