Having worked in public policy and closely followed politics for my entire adult life (and been Catholic my whole life as well) very few things surprise me as the head of the Rio Grande Foundation. Having the lobbyist for the Catholic Church indirectly call you a “racist” for opposing his plans to tap the New Mexico Permanent Fund for pre-K programs is indeed a surprise.
In case you missed it, the Senate Finance Committee Chairman John-Arthur Smith (a Democrat) put the brakes on tapping the Permanent Fund for pre-K yet again this year but it is worth noting that Gov. Susana Martinez (a Republican) has dramatically-increased pre-K funding over the years including $37 million more in this year’s budget alone.
But, apparently, if you believe that the evidence is just not there for pre-K or that you just don’t think tapping the Permanent Fund is the right approach for pre-K funding, that makes you a “racist” in the eyes of the Catholic Church’s right hand man. And lest you think the Catholic Church is being anything but political, the Archbishop of Santa Fe himself was side-by-side with Allen Sanchez, Voices for Children and leftist “community organizer” Javier Benavidez at their candle light vigil in support of pre-K on Wednesday.
As a Catholic who attended Catholic Schools and makes decent money, but still can’t afford to send my kids to Catholic schools like St.Pius X at a cost of more than $12,000 annually (I have 3 kids and even if tuition remained constant that would run $144,000 for each of them to attend). It would be great if the Church would put its considerable political weight behind school choice and making their own (generally very good) schools accessible to those in the middle class or more modest means, but…politics.