After vetoing similar legislation last year, Governor Cuomo has signed a bill that restores a standard for calculating state reimbursement of administrative mandates placed on Catholic and other religious and independent schools. The “instructional time” standard of 5 hours per day for K-6 and 5.5 hours per day for 7-12 had been used for nearly four decades in calculating reimbursements. However, in recent years the state had begun requiring many schools to factor in non-instructional hours as well, thereby reducing reimbursements.
By restoring the instructional time standard, the legislation, which passed unanimously in both the state Senate and Assembly, will save Catholic schools from facing at least a 4 percent reduction in reimbursement in coming years.
“We are grateful to Gov. Cuomo and the entire legislature for their action in averting devastating cuts in reimbursements to our schools,” said James Cultrara, director for education of the New York State Catholic Conference.
The catastrophic clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, and the continuing revelations about its depth, has been the cause of unimaginable suffering for the many victim-survivors and their loved ones. It has also deeply impacted the lay faithful. Nothing can ever undo the damage that has been done, but the Church has indeed taken many positive steps and made great progress at reform.
Here in New York, the Bishops began the process of rebuilding trust after the initial revelations of 2002, and in recent years, every diocese has undertaken independent reconciliation and compensation programs to offer survivors a chance for both financial compensation and the beginnings of closure that comes with an acknowledgement of what they have suffered. It was this process, in fact, that led directly to the exposure of the abuse by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, and his removal from ministry and resignation from the College of Cardinals.
The Church in New York State will never abandon those who have been hurt. We urge anyone who has suffered abuse by a member of the clergy or by anyone else in Church ministry to immediately report it to law enforcement, as well as to the victim assistance coordinator in your local diocese: