Congressman Dan Lipinski introduced a resolution this week in the U.S. House of Representatives praising the outstanding work of Catholic schools and honoring National Catholic Schools Week. This year's theme for Catholic Schools Week -- which runs from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 -- is "Catholic Schools Raise the Standards."
Rep. Lipinski's resolution, H.Res. 46, expresses support for "the vital contributions of the thousands of Catholic elementary and secondary schools in the United States" and "the key role they play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for the nation." It recognizes that Catholic schools produce academically successful students, foster a commitment to service, family and community, and accept students from all faiths and backgrounds.
This is the seventh year in a row the congressman has introduced a resolution honoring National Catholic Schools Week.
"As a proud graduate of St. Symphorosa Grammar School and St. Ignatius College Prep, I look forward to highlighting the achievements of America's Catholic schools every year during Catholic Schools Week," Rep. Lipinski said. "The Chicago Archdiocese and the Joliet Diocese run two of the best school systems in the country. Visiting the students, teachers, and administrators at these schools reminds me of how blessed we are to have so many great Catholic schools in our communities.
"America's Catholic schools produce graduates that have the skills and strength of character needed by our businesses, governments, and communities. In the 2011-12 school year, the total Catholic school student enrollment was more than 2 million, with an outstanding student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. Catholic school students, on average, surpass other students in math, science, and reading achievement, and the graduation rate for Catholic high school students is 99 percent, with 85 percent of graduates going on to four-year colleges. Today, more than 15 percent of students in Catholic schools are not Catholic, and over the past 30 years, the percentage of minority students enrolled in Catholic schools has more than doubled. In northeastern Illinois, it is estimated that Catholic schools save taxpayers over $1 billion annually by lowering the number of students in overburdened public schools.
"In recognizing Catholic Schools Week, we pay a special tribute to countless dedicated teachers and administrators. Many of my favorite memories are of teachers, including many nuns, who taught me the values of faith and service. Throughout the United States, millions of others have similar memories."
Catholic Schools Week, which begins on the last Sunday in January, has been an annual event since 1974.