The leader of Philadelphia Catholics urges Harrisburg to pass vouchers, or he'll have to close schools: "What I noted in February is even more pressing today: Without new scholarship tax credits and school vouchers to relieve costs, more archdiocesan schools will close soon, and more of the financial burden of educating young people will fall on the public."
But even under Chaput's solution, more of the financial burden of educating young people will fall on the public. Students whose education isn't currently publicly subsidized would be for the first time, a likely hit to taxpayer wallets over time.
Conservatives who balk at auto industry bailouts will be amenable to Chaput's proposal. But it's worth considering the idea that Catholic schools are failing of their own accord: Philadelphia church pews aren't as full as they used to be, certainly, so it makes sense that the population of students for church schools would also be in decline. Chaput is blaming the closure of schools on financial challenges, but it might also be true that market forces are working as they do—and that Philadelphia families are voting with their feet.