Letter: Funding, not Bible, behind student success
To the editor, In response to Mr. Dwight Messner's letter to the editor (Jan. 12: "Why should Bible be banned in class?"), I would like to answer your question of "Why are private schools and Christian schools that use the Bible freely doing much...
To the editor,
In response to Mr. Dwight Messner's letter to the editor (Jan. 12: " Why should Bible be banned in class? "), I would like to answer your question of "Why are private schools and Christian schools that use the Bible freely doing much better overall than our public schools?"
The answer is not a lack of Bible teachings, but funding. For example, St. Michael's Catholic school in Grand Forks, for preschool and K-5 students, requires a registration fee, technology fee, field trip fee, bus fee and a tuition cost of $2,950 per student (according to the school's 2018-2019 tuition agreement).
Also, if your child is involved in any extracurricular activities, those incur a cost as well (at any school). All of this money parents are paying goes to wonderful services that help the students learn better and more. It helps pay for qualified staff members, nutritious food, technology, supplies, field trips, interactive learning, new textbooks and many more, badly needed educational services.
What you may have overlooked, Mr. Messner, as so many people with money tend to do, is that low-income families cannot afford to send their children to these schools. Instead, they attend public school, which is funded by property taxes, state aid and grants and donations. In 2016, the Grand Forks Public School System expensed $104,819,119 but only received $103,483,316 in funding, according to the public school system's year-end financial audit. Our public schools lack funding for many of the great resources that our private, Catholic counterparts enjoy.
While the problem is larger than I stated and has roots in racism, such as redlining as well as disproportionate pay for women (thinking of single mothers), systemic barriers that keep low-income families poor and the growing cost of housing, I won't get into that. The point is, Bible teachings aren't the reason students in religious schools do better, funding is. And furthermore, not learning about God doesn't make any student less of a success than students who follow religion.
Signed, an agnostic college graduate now pursuing her master's degree.