Your last CE News of 2016!

December 21, 2016
Catholic Schools Week: Jan 29 - Feb 4
Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2017 is January 29 - February 4. The theme for the National Catholic Schools Week 2017 is "Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service."

Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation. 

Head to NCEA's website dedicated to Catholic Schools Week ( to see this year's daily themes, planning tools, and other helpful resources. We have a lot to celebrate in our Catholic schools, so let's make CSW 2017 the best yet!

Parental Choice in the States
Following the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary, the education world and media in general have been buzzing about potential federal parental choice programs. As I stated in the prior CE News, this office will be part of those conversations, encouraging plurality of choices and ease of access for families.

It is important to remember, however, that parental choice programs have been most successful at the state level. In 30 states there are 61 private school choice programs and 2017 is shaping up to be an active year in state legislatures across the country.

That is why a new Catholic organization (name is TBD) launching in the new year will be focused on advocating choice programs at the state level. It will fill a unique and targeted role of providing the Catholic voice in the parental choice space - augmenting and assisting Catholic conferences and dioceses already engaged in this work. Although this group is separate from my office and the USCCB, I am enthused by its founding and wish it success in 2017 and beyond.

If you have any questions about this group or want to know more, please email me directly.

Reading List

As always, please share with me your ideas, suggestions, and experiences by emailing


USCCB Secretariat of Catholic Education  | 202-541-3148  | |

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.