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Greg Swallow

Church Schools Seek Public Funds

Maine’s private schools, like most other enterprises, are feeling the vise of recession. 

Over the past decade, Maine’s shrinking student demographics have disproportionately drained private school enrollments which are now 34% off their peak. Over the same period, public school enrollments have declined by 26%.

Religious schools, in particular, are now turning to the government for relief.

“Adequately financing these schools has always been a challenge,” Marc Mutty, lobbyist for the Catholic Diocese of Portland, told the Legislature’s Taxation Committee on April 6. “They need financial assistance if they are to survive.”

Recently remembered for warning against the consequences to schools from government sanctioning of gay marriage, Mutty and other religious school advocates hope to stem the decline in private enrollments by persuading the Legislature to appropriate ten million dollars in new public subsidy via tax credits to those who support private schools through tuition.

Two vehicles are proposed for this transfer of tax dollars: Read more »