I am heartened by the promising news out of Albany, that the Governor, and the leadership of the State Senate and the State Assembly, have reached an agreement that will enable the payment of $250 million in unreimbursed mandated services to Catholic and other religious and non-public schools around New York State.  This money, which has been owed for several years, is sorely needed by our schools, many of whom have been struggling to remain open
            We Catholic leaders were part of a broad coalition of religious leaders, business executives, labor officials, parents, and many others, all of whom fought long and hard on behalf of the Education Investment Tax Credit, a bill that would have helped all of our children, in public, religious, charter, and private schools. We are disappointed that, once again, we have come up short, but we will redouble our efforts next year to make this common-sense bill become law.  We remain ever more committed to the principle of parental choice in education
            However, on behalf of Catholics throughout New York, and especially the parents who send their children to our schools, let me express appreciation to Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Flanagan, and Assembly Speaker Heastie for recognizing the needs of our schools, and the action they have taken today
            Catholic schools for generations have been a lifeline for low-income families. Our schools have helped countless children, many of them new to our shores, reach their full potential and rise out of poverty. We are committed to maintaining a strong Catholic school system, and continue to urge lawmakers to finally do their part in helping these parents exercise their right to educational choice for their children