Elementary and Secondary Education Budget Testimony
Testimony of the New York State Council of Catholic School Superintendents presented by James D. Cultrara, executive secretary, regarding the 2023-2024 elementary and secondary education budget.
While enduring the enormous challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic, our 420 Catholic school principals and teachers once again proved their dedication to and singular focus on the well-being of the children and families they serve. Even though we have provided students precisely what they have needed most: safe, continuous, and in-person instruction, our schools suffered even greater challenges relating to fiscal stability, personnel shortages, learning loss, and student mental health than our public school counterparts. Despite our challenges being disproportionately greater than public schools, the Governor’s 2024 Executive Budget provides disproportionately greater support for the public-school sector leaving our families and school community leaders scratching their heads. Accordingly, this testimony highlights key program areas in which injustices must be rectified and increased funding and programmatic support is critically needed.
Student Learning Loss Testimony
Testimony of the New York State Council of Catholic School Superintendents presented by James D. Cultrara, executive secretary, regarding student learning loss.
December 14, 2022
We are grateful to Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Chairman of the Assembly Education Committee and to members of the Committee for convening this hearing and for their interest in knowing more about the challenges schools continue to face in addressing learning loss of students across the state – including students enrolled in Catholic schools.
While enduring the enormous challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic, Catholic schools have once again proven their dedication to and singular focus on the well-being of the children they serve. By faithfully implementing COVID safety protocols, our schools were the quickest to reopen and were able to provide children and their families precisely what was needed most: safe, continuous, in-person instruction. Although learning loss and its ramifications continue to reveal themselves to this day, our resumption of in-person instruction clearly mitigated its impact.
Comments Regarding Proposed Rulemaking on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act
Re: Department of Health and Human Services
Docket ID: HHS-OS-2022-0012
Non-Discrimination in Health Programs and Activities
September 26, 2022
The New York State Catholic Conference submits this comment on behalf of the Respect Life Directors of the Catholic dioceses of New York State. We work and advocate for the fundamental human right to life of all people, regardless of their age or condition, and for religious liberty for health care providers. This is based on our faith’s teaching about the inherent dignity of every human person.
We strongly oppose the proposed rule. This rule would endanger the lives and health of vulnerable persons and force health institutions and professionals to violate their religious beliefs.
Comments on the Draft Scoping Plan by Climate Action Council
The New York State Catholic Conference submits the following comments on the draft Scoping Plan developed by the Climate Action Council, which was created by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 (CLCPA).
June 30, 2022
General Position of the Catholic Church
The perspective of the Catholic Church with respect to the environment is encapsulated in the 2015 encyclical letter of Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, on the Care for the Common Home. This landmark encyclical acknowledges our relationship with our common home – the earth – and “the harm that we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her.”
In fact, the Church has expressed its concern over the ecological damage caused by unchecked human activity for more than 50 years, particularly during the pontificates of the last three popes – Francis, Benedict XVI, and St. John Paul II. The Church’s statements on ecological harm acknowledge and have been enriched by the reflections of numerous scientists, philosophers, theologians, and civic groups. Generally speaking, Laudato Si’ calls for us to work together for sustainable development with a critical emphasis on reversing environmental degradation that affects the poorest among us. More