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.
Notable quotes from their testimonies:
“The reason [Catholic] schools exist is to live out the Catholic faith, whether or not the students themselves are Catholic. So, people choose the school for its values and education about the Catholic faith, but they are not expected to convert, nor are they proselytized to. As Cardinal Hickey ... famously said "We educate not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic." " - Frank O'Linn, Ed.D.,
"Parental rights in education remain an essential aspect of the Church’s teaching that the family must be strengthened as the essential unit within society. School choice is probably more important than ever because it empowers parents to have the fundamental right to select the schools that they believe are best suited for their children." - Larry Keough, CCO