Dept. on Health Affairs
Care for Creation
The Associate Director of Education provides leadership and advocacy for the Conference’s activities related to educational issues, particularly those affecting Catholic school communities. They monitor, evaluate, and propose responses to legislative and public policy issues and interpret educational laws, rules, and policy proposals for their impact on Catholic schools, students, families, and educators. This position also convenes regular meetings for diocesan superintendents of schools and gathers other program directors or diocesan staff, as needed.
Click "Read more" to read the entire job description and how to apply for the position.
Lawmakers are currently weighing budget proposals (House Bill 33) to dramatically increase the availability of school choice scholarships such as EdChoice, which currently provides up to $5,500 per eligible pupil in grades K-8 and $7,500 for grades 9-12.
Click "Take Action" to send a message to your state representatives and let them know the benefits of making EdChoice scholarships available to all.
A special election will take place in Ohio on August 8, 2023 to vote on Issue 1, which asks voters if Ohio should "Require that any proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Ohio receive the approval of at least 60 percent of eligible voters on the proposed amendment."
The Bishops of Ohio do not have a position on Issue 1 as it does not have moral content. However, as "responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation" (Faithful Citizenship, No. 13), the bishops urge Catholics in Ohio to register and vote in the special election.
On Tuesday, May 23, CCO testified in support of House Bill 118, which would exempt baby products from Ohio sales tax. CCO views this bill as a clear opportunity to promote the common good by easing the financial burden of families with young children. Low-income families with newborn children would particularly benefit as they pay a larger share of their income in the form of sales tax. As Pope St. John Paul II wrote in his “Letter to Families,” the common good is most realized “in the newborn child.”
On Tuesday, May 16, the Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of HB 106, the Pay Stub Protection Act, which would require employers to provide earnings and deductions statements to each employee. In the testimony, CCO shared that the USCCB Pastoral Letter on the U.S. Economy, on the fundamental right to make a living, calls for protection in the form of fundamental fairness in all agreements and transactions. By providing transparency between businesses and workers, this bill would help assert that worker’s dignity is not less than their employers and help defend working Ohioans from wage theft.
On Wednesday, May 3, the Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of HB7, the Strong Foundations Act which would support mothers and babies to address maternal and infant mortality and improve health and developmental outcomes. CCO stressed the importance of the family as the foundation of society and the Church’s commitment to solidarity with the marginalized which this bill upholds. Reference was also made to the Catholic Charities and programs like Walking with Moms in Need in which the Church accompanies and supports women, children, and families.
Also, on Thursday, May 4, both CCO and Frank O’Linn, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Cleveland, testified to support increased funding for scholarship programs at the Ohio Senate Education Committee hearing for House Bill 33 as the Senate considers its version of the budget. They also emphasized their support for universal school choice in SB11, which would expand eligibility for Educational Choice scholarships.
(Click Read More for Testimony Quotes)
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Bishop Gilbert I. Sheldon, the Diocese of Stuebenville's third bishop. He passed away April 24, 2023 at the age of 96. Bishop Sheldon served as a bishop for 26 years, 16 as an auxiliary in Cleveland and 10 as diocesan bishop in Steubenville. Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton said, “Bishop Sheldon personified a shepherd’s generosity and compassionate heart. His love for the people of God was evident in his travels throughout the diocese as he shared the good news of Jesus Christ. As his episcopal motto illustrated, he was strong in the faith.”
Read his full obituary here >
Larry Keough, Associate Director for Education, has announced he will retire on May 31, 2023. Larry has been instrumental in advocating for Catholic schools and students in Ohio for the past fifteen years. He has also represented Catholic cemeteries at the Statehouse. Prior to joining the Catholic Conference of Ohio, Larry was the legislative advocate for Catholic schools and director of the accreditation program for the Florida Catholic Conference from 1997-2008. We are thankful for Larry's dedication to the Church, our schools, students, and parents and we wish him all the best in his retirement.
The bishops of Ohio met with legislative leaders this week to discuss issues related to protecting and promoting life at every stage of development, Catholic education, and supporting Ohioans in need. Meetings were held with Governor Mike DeWine, Senate President Matt Huffman, House Speaker Jason Stephens, and Minority Leaders Allison Russo and Nickie Antonio.
Click "Read more" to view pictures from the meetings
The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified this week in support of two bills. HB6 would ensure fairness in sports by requiring schools to designate separate teams for participants according to their biological sex. CCO affirmed the bill’s alignment with the Church’s teaching about the equality of men and women and the need to create equitable opportunities for biological females to compete in sports. The Conference also expressed that harassment or unjust discrimination of those experiencing gender identity discordance is unequivocally wrong. In addition, CCO delivered a second round of proponent testimony on HB33 to expand the threshold for a family to receive an Ed Choice Income-Based Scholarship to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Catholic schools represent the largest system of nonpublic schools in Ohio. CCO again stressed the need to address issues in school transportation as well as necessary increases to auxiliary service funds, nonpublic administrative cost reimbursement, funding levels in the categories of disabilities, and tax credit for giving to scholarship granting organizations.
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