Lipinski Introduces Resolution Celebrating Catholic Schools Week

On Wednesday, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) introduced H. Res. 61 honoring the outstanding work of Catholic schools and celebrating Catholic Schools Week, which this year begins Jan. 30. The resolution expresses support for “the vital contributions of the thousands of Catholic elementary and secondary schools in the United States” and “the key role they play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for the nation.” It recognizes that Catholic schools produce academically successful students, foster a commitment to service, family, and community, and accept students from all faiths and backgrounds.

This is the fifth year in a row that Congressman Lipinski has introduced such a resolution. On Jan. 24, he paid tribute to the remarkable success of America’s Catholic schools and the influence of his own Catholic school education in a speech on the House floor.

“As a proud graduate of St. Symphorosa Grammar School and St. Ignatius College Prep, I was born and raised and live in the Chicago Archdiocese, which still has one of the most successful school systems in the country,” Congressman Lipinski said. “In my district alone, there are seven Catholic high schools and approximately 50 grammar schools, including one of the best in my home parish – St. John of the Cross in Western Springs.

“America’s Catholic schools produce graduates that have the skills and strength of character needed by our businesses, governments, and communities. In 2009, Catholic school students contributed about half a million hours of service to their communities and parishes. Catholic school students, on average, surpass other students in math, science, and reading in the three grade levels tested by the NAEP test. The graduation rate for Catholic high school students is 99 percent, and 97 percent of graduates go on to college or technical schools. Moreover, Catholic schools are known for embracing students from all walks of life. Almost fifteen percent of students in Catholic schools are not Catholic, and over the past 30 years, the percentage of minority students enrolled in Catholic schools has more than doubled.

“It is estimated that Catholic schools save Chicagoland taxpayers over $1 billion annually by lowering the number of students in overburdened public schools.

“In recognizing Catholic Schools Week, we pay a special tribute to countless dedicated teachers and administrators. Many of my favorite memories are of teachers, including many nuns, who taught me the values of faith and service. Throughout the United States, millions of others have similar memories.

“I look forward to attending Catholic Schools Week events in my district, to deliver the praise, support, and gratitude they deserve. I encourage my colleagues to do the same.”

Catholic Schools Week, which begins on the last Sunday in January, has been an annual event since 1974.

(January 28, 2011)


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