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Hope that Grows with Tomorrow's Hope Executive Director Ismini Scouras

Catholic school students score high after pandemic

Catholic education made headlines during the pandemic when schools across the nation safely

opened their doors for in-person learning in fall 2020. The open question at the time was whether putting children back in the classroom would increase the chances of COVID outbreaks. Still, the benefits to their socialization skills, mental health, and academic experience were obvious. Now, there’s data to prove that this brave move by diocesan pastors and educators to quickly end remote learning was the right one…

In case you missed it, findings in “The Nation’s Report Card,” a report from U.S. Department of Education released every two years that measures the progress of 4th and 8th grade students in

math and reading, revealed that remote learning had devastating effects on public and charter school students. Catholic school students, however, performed at or near the top in reading and math compared with their public and charter school counterparts.

The average score among fourth graders in Catholic schools was 233, which is 17 points higher

than the national public-school average, or about 1½ grade levels ahead. In eighth-grade reading, the average score for Catholic school students was 279, which is 20 points higher than the national public-school average, or about two grade levels ahead. In eighth-grade math, Catholic school students experienced a five-point decline, but average scores were still 15 points higher than their public-school peers.

This is welcome news! But I am not surprised. Catholic schools differed for their agility during this unprecedented time. They also set themselves apart for their leadership in putting students first then and today. But this was no aberration. If you spend time visiting our Catholic schools, the love

and commitment among administrators and teachers is palpable. Our Catholic school educators have always considered this a vocation and approach their jobs with fervor in what’s best for the children.

And they perform their jobs with a lot less. The average cost of Catholic school tuition, for

instance, was $5,847 compared to the approximately $16,000 public schools received per student, according to the U.S. Census of Data. On Long Island, the average cost of tuition for Catholic elementary school is $6,100 compared with the more than $20,000 public schools received per student.

These numbers are stunning but tell a story about the value of a Catholic education and why your

continued support matters, especially for underprivileged students whose learning outcomes were far greater in Catholic schools, according to the report.

By giving to Tomorrow’s Hope, you are investing in our children, the Catholic leaders of

tomorrow. Thanks to our donors, more than 1,100 students will receive $2.5 million in tuition assistance this year to attend Long Island’s Catholic elementary schools.

On behalf of our children and the schools we serve, I thank you for your steadfast commitment to our mission. During this season of thanks, please know how grateful we are at Tomorrow’s Hope for your continued generosity. It is up to all of us to ensure that our children continue to thrive, especially those whose families are struggling to make ends meet during these challenging times.

Thank you for changing the lives of countless children and families. I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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