The US Supreme Court in a 7-2 ruling today maintained the religious independence of Catholic schools and other institutions, saying that certain employees cannot sue for employment discrimination. The case stems from lawsuits in California against two Catholic schools by former teachers.
The US Supreme Court has remanded a case back to the 7th Circuit Court to reconsider its decision that a Wisconsin school district did not have to pay to transport children to a private Catholic school. The move comes after the Supreme Court's recent decision requiring Montana to pay scholarships to private religious schools.
Some Catholic schools have announced closures because of the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, and others say they are still unsure whether they will reopen in the fall. "If you have a school with 180 students and 50-something registered for nine grades, you're probably looking at closure," said Sister Dale McDonald, public policy director of the National Catholic Educational Association.
Lake Michigan Catholic Middle/High School plans to offer in-person instruction in the fall -- aligned with state guidance -- as well as hybrid learning. The school is launching a "live classroom model" that will allow students to livestream in-class instruction if they need to stay home.
The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh released a plan Tuesday to safely reopen schools in August. Elementary schools will reopen Aug. 27, while high schools will have a staggered start, and students and staff can expect social distancing, mask requirements and temperature checks.
John Barnhardt, the new president and CEO of Bishop McNamara High School in Maryland, says his spirit and beliefs are aligned with the mission of the school and that he was "called" to the new role. Barnhardt says he plans to serve as "a model every day not only for our students but sometimes more importantly for our faculty and our families that brings a lot of life."
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