Archdiocese isn't obligated to finance competitors, too

March 23, 2011

Is it possible that the Archdiocese of Baltimore can do anything The Sun's editorial board agrees with ("Archdiocese shouldn't block charters," March 21)? The fact that the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore is a non-profit requires them to be more astute when it comes to business practices, particularly if they are to continue to educate students in Baltimore.

The archdiocese is trying to make its schools competitive with both public schools and private schools, while providing excellent education to its students at tuition rates substantially lower than what the public schools are provided per student. According to the website Neighborhood Scout, Baltimore public schools receive and spend on average $12,253 per elementary student. They are funded publicly. Tuition at Baltimore's private elementary schools ranges from $3,778 to $21,685. As stated in your editorial, the archdiocese charges $5,000 per student.

It appears you believe that even though state-funded city schools have twice the financial resources available to Catholic schools, it is the archdiocese that should provide buildings for lease or sale to public charter schools who will then compete for private school students. When the state and the city provide support for non-public education (that saves them many millions of dollars per year) with appropriate tax credits then maybe the archdiocese might be in a more congenial position to make its private property available.

Raine Mullan, Phoenix

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