UP Catholic 08 11 2017 E Edition Page 4

4 August 11, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org The Marquette Diocese and the Knights of Columbus will give special recognition to couples celebrating their 25th, 30th, 35th, 40th, 45th, 50th or 51st and above wedding anniversary anytime during this year. They and their families are invited to the Milestone Wedding Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, September 10th at 2 p.m. (ET) at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette with a meal to follow. Widows and widowers who would have celebrated a milestone anniversary this year are also invited and encour- aged to attend, as are newlywed couples married from September 1, 2016 through September 1, 2017. If you plan to attend, please fill out and return the registration form below as soon as possible so that plans can be finalized. Those celebrating their Golden Anniversary (50th) this year are also asked to include, if possible, a recent photograph for publication in The U. P. Catholic diocesan newspaper. Registration form Deadline: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 Last name (if your first and/or last name has an uncommon spelling, or if other people often mispronounce it, please include the phonetic spelling) : Use separate sheet if necessary. __________________________________________________ First names:________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________ __________________________________________________ Current parish:______________________________________ __________________________________________________ Phone/e-mail address:_______________________________ _________________________________________________ Our ____th anniversary is/was/will be on__________, 2017 For newlyweds: We were married on__________, 2016 or 2017 (circle one) I / We will attend this year's celebration: Yes No (circle one) GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY COUPLES ONLY: This information may be published in The U.P. Catholic newspaper (please include a photo if celebrating your Golden Anniversary this year): Yes No (circle one) For widows/widowers wishing to memorialize a deceased spouse: Name of deceased spouse:___________________________ Return to: Charles Crotty, Knights of Columbus 13 Grove Hill Court, Marquette, MI 49855-9444 Annual Milestone Wedding Anniversary Celebration set for Sunday, September 10, 2017 DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS Health, safety matter for all Michigan students T he month of August is in full swing. With it comes the sounds of Catholic school teachers and students begin- ning classes once again. Michigan has over 220 Catholic schools, and each has a significant presence within their respective community and neighborhood. In recent years, the state legislature has recognized the presence of Catholic and other nonpublic schools in a number of ways, ensuring every student has a healthy and safe learning environ- ment. These actions are encouraging to see, as all children deserve to be cared for and protected, regardless of where they attend school. In two of the past three state budget cycles, non- public schools were eligible, along with their public school counterparts, to apply for a school safety grant reviewed and distributed by the Department of State Police. Collectively, 39 nonpublic schools - includ- ing Catholic, Jewish, Christian and Lutheran schools - received nearly $1.2 million of the $7.5 million available to improve security in their buildings. Additionally, members of both political parties supported an amendment in the final Department of Education budget last year to reimburse nonpublic schools for testing drinking water for lead. Mindful of the Flint water disaster and situa- tions across the country where tragic violence hasoccurredinschools,electedicialsin Michigan have thankfully kept the health and safety of students - both public and nonpublic - very much in mind. Yet, regrettably, the momentum toward greater health and safety for all students in this state is encountering legal pressure. Despite bipartisan efforts for nonpublic schools to access state grant dollars for lead testing and school safety, some advocacy groups are suing the state. The lawsuit aims to prohibit nonpublic schools from being reim- bursed for compliance with non-education re- lated health and safety mandates, including fire drills, criminal background checks, vaccination and attendance records, among others. All schools are required to conduct these activities, but nonpublic schools - most of which operate on a minimal budget - are not reimbursed for the expenses as are public schools. Since the lawsuit was filed, those opposed to the funding have articulated erroneous and misleading information about nonpublic schools, including the perplexing accusation they solely educate wealthy white families. In fact, Catholic educational institutions, motivat- ed by faith, serve families of varying socio-eco- nomic backgrounds, races and religious beliefs. According to statewide data provided to the National Catholic Education Association, ap- proximately 19 percent of children educated in Catholic schools were minority students, simi- lar to national statistics. Over 13 percent were non-Catholics. Roughly 72 percent of Michigan Catholic schools participate in federal nutrition programs, providing free meals to low-income students in need. To help keep expenses down, Catholic par- ishes, dioceses, and religious orders regularly work with families to make attendance more affordable through scholarship and tuition assistance programs. The presence of Catholic and other nonpublic schools is only possible with the commitment of teachers, staff, and volunteers who welcome all children daily as part of the school family, oftentimes at salary levels well below their public school colleagues. The reality is that working families sacrifice and save to send their children to a Catholic or other nonpublic school. Similar to public school families, many nonpublic school par- ents commit to a certain number of volunteer hours, they clip box tops and purchase items online that return a percentage back to the school. Yet as taxpayers who also pay tuition expenses, nonpublic school families are paying twice for state-mandated health and safety programs. ElectedicialsinLansinghavetakenbold strides of late to better ensure the health, safety and general welfare of all students. Regardless of the outcome of the aforementioned lawsuit, the parents of over 115,000 nonpublic school students in Michigan desire for their children to be treated no differently by the state than the children of their public school friends and neighbors. The Word from Lansing is a regular column for Catholic news outlets and is written by Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) Presi- dent and CEO Paul A. Long. Michigan Catho- licConferenceistheicialpublicpolicyvoice of the Catholic Church in this state. THE WORD FROM LANSING Paul A. Long ALL CHILDREN DESERVE TO BE CARED FOR AND PROTECTED, REGARDLESS OF WHERE THEY ATTEND SCHOOL Missed the Hospitality Lecture? Watch The New Evangelization via Mary and Elizabeth, Denise Bossert's talk online at www.YouTube.com/TheUPCatholic

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