Archdiocese stacked the deck against schools

March 31, 2010

I challenge Archbishop Edwin O'Brien to convene another blue ribbon committee on Catholic schools in Baltimore. Only this time, don't load it with people who have a vested interest in closing our schools -- people like Baltimore City schools CEO Andres Alonso, Baltimore County Superintendent Joe Hairston and state Superintendent Nancy Grasmick. Instead, recruit people who have a demonstrated record of supporting Catholic education in Baltimore. Recruit parents from all socio-economic backgrounds who've sent their kids through those schools, recruit principals and teachers who've accepted substandard pay for years because they're committed to serving children and the Catholic Church. Recruit business people who are more interested in doing what's good for kids than in currying favor with a shrinking archdiocese. And finally, recruit parish priests from all over the archdiocese who grew up in Catholic schools and who know that the church's very survival depends on a healthy Catholic school system. Get all those people together, and you may be surprised at what we come up with. We may wind up with a more vibrant system than ever.

Baltimore's Cathollics may need a small miracle to save our schools and keep our faith alive, but last time I checked, we all believed in them. Stop thinking like an accountant and reconsider the story of the loaves and the fishes.

Meg Carter, Hampstead

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