Funding and Flexibility for Nonpublic School Students
Nonpublic school students should have access to flexible transportation and funding for safe schools and counseling services
Urge leadership to include funding for nonpublic school student students in the final version of their Education omnibus bill!
The Education Conference Committee is currently deliberating an omnibus bill that could increase funding and flexibility for our nonpublic school students. We are asking you to speak out on three bills:
1. H.F. 3506/S.F. 925 expands access to guidance counseling and mental health services for nonpublic students enrolled in grades K-6. Under the current law, nonpublic students may only receive these services for grades 7-12. As mental health issues among young people continues to grow, we know that counseling and mental health services are needed for students in all grades, not just grades 7-12.
2. H.F. 3937/S.F. 3745 provides flexibility between nonpublic schools and their respective public school districts regarding transportation services. This mutually beneficial system was utilized when the Safe Learning Plan was in effect during the Peacetime Emergency Order in the 2020-21 school year. Once the Peacetime Emergency Order was lifted, the Safe Learning Plan was no longer in effect and school districts and nonpublic schools lost the ability to create these arrangements. We need to make the flexibility permanent, which will ensure that nonpublic school students have access to busing, even when public schools are not in session.
3. H.F. 4005/S.F. 3380 provides state aid to school districts, intermediate school districts, charter schools, and nonpublic schools for the Safe Schools Program. These dollars are used to help ensure the safety of the school building and environment for students across the state. In 2020 and 2021, legislation was introduced that made this funding permanent and added nonpublic schools to the program at the same level. This session, that funding could be greatly increased so that our nonpublic schools can ensure maximum safety.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church’s definition of subsidiarity (CCC 1883) applies to the principle behind nonpublic aid such that "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good.” To that end, these bills allow school districts to address their community needs at the local level in order to ensure that the educational goals of all students are met.
Encourage the Conference Committee to include funding and flexibility for nonpublic school students in their final version of their Education omnibus bill!
If you have...
One Minute: Send a message to leadership urging them to vote to keep our nonpublic school students in mind during their final deliberations.
Three Minutes: After sending legislative leadership a quick email, take another minute to call their office or send a video message. A suggested script and talking points will show up on your device. Legislators do not often get calls from their constituents, so a follow-up call or video will increase your impact and further build your relationship.
More Time: Offer an intercessory prayer to St. Christopher—the patron saint of transportation—asking for his intercession to keep students and bus drivers safe on their way to and from school and activities.