Why does this matter to others? It matters because a child who attends a Catholic school is much likelier to finish high school and attend college than his or her public-school counterpart.
In Buffalo, for example, 99 percent of Catholic high school students graduate — more than twice the 47 percent rate for public-school students. Ninety-eight percent of the Catholic-school students go on to college.
Meanwhile, fewer than 10 percent of Buffalo public-school students leave high school ready for college.
Earlier this year, Justice Sonia Sotomayor stressed to The New York Times how especially vital these Catholic schools are to people of color or little means — and why she was so “heartbroken” to learn her own alma mater, Blessed Sacrament High School in The Bronx, is shutting down:
“It’s symbolic of what it means for all our families, like my mother, who were dirt-poor. She watched what happened to my cousins in public school and worried if we went there, we might not get out. So she scrimped and saved. It was a road of opportunity for kids with no other alternative.”
Translation: If access to a decent education is indeed the civil-rights issue of our day, Catholic schools play an irreplaceable role in New York.
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