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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
January 25, 2019
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • National School Choice Week Event Held in Lansing
  • Catholic Schools Week Begins on Sunday, January 27
  • Michigan Program Promotes Alternatives to Abortion
  • The Word from Lansing: 2019-2020- A Blueprint for the Common Good
 
  National School Choice Week Event Held in Lansing  
 
On Wednesday, January 23, Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) celebrated National School Choice Week at the State Capitol in Lansing with students, parents, educators, education advocates, and lawmakers. National School Choice Week is an annual celebration of opportunity in education, including at traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, nonpublic schools, online academies, and homeschooling. MCC believes that all children deserve a quality education and that parents should choose the type of education that best fits their child. 

During the event, several students addressed the crowd, including Sydney Gehle from Lansing Catholic High School. She spoke about how the fit of a school can make or break a child's education and how Catholic education has been a wonderful fit for her. We are thankful to Sydney and Lansing Catholic, as well as the Esports Team from West Catholic in Grand Rapids, for braving the cold weather to participate in the event and to highlight the benefits of school choice, especially from a Catholic school perspective. In addition to MCC, other sponsors of the event included the Great Lakes Education Project, Mackinac Center, MAPSA, Michigan CoOp, P.A.C.E., Michigan Association of Non-public Schools, the Michigan Chapter of the National Coalition for Public School Options, and the Urban Leadership Foundation. National School Choice Week created a highlight of the video that can be watched here, and other pictures from the event are available on MCC's social media accounts.

Photo by Patrick Gloria, National School Choice Week. 
 
  Catholic Schools Week Begins on Sunday, January 27  
 
Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration of Catholic education throughout the United States. Many schools across Michigan will observe the week with special Masses, open houses, and other fun activities for students, families, teachers, and community members. The theme of this year's week is "Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed," which highlights the contributions of Catholic schools: for students, for families, for communities, and for society. In 2017, over 51,000 Michigan students received a Catholic education in 224 schools, making a significant positive impact on the state's communities. More information can be found at www.ncea.org

In honor of this week-long celebration, the Michigan Senate adopted a resolution recognizing January 27-February 2, 2019 as Catholic Schools Week in Michigan. The Michigan House is expected to follow suit during session next week. MCC appreciates bill sponsor Senator Kimberly LaSata (R-Bainbridge) for introducing this resolution. In part, the resolution reads: "We support the continued dedication of Catholic schools across Michigan toward academic excellence and the key role Catholic schools play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for students."
 
  Michigan Program Promotes Alternatives to Abortion  
 
Tuesday, January 22 marked the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the U.S. Supreme Court decisions that legalized abortion across the country in 1973. Over 56 million lives have tragically been lost since these decisions. In response, MCC advocates for building a culture of life, providing alternatives to abortion, and offering greater support for women and their children. In Michigan, one program in particular is doing just that. The Michigan Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Program, administered by the nonprofit Real Alternatives, provides pregnancy counseling and knowledge about adoption, improves parenting skills, and offers basic care items to women and their children, up through twelve months after birth.

Since it began in 2013, Michigan's program has helped over 7,100 women through almost 28,000 client visits (through November 2018). Eighty-five percent of women who were being pressured by others to abort have chosen childbirth after receiving services through the program. Michigan's program is modeled off a program from Pennsylvania that has existed since 1995. Read more about how the program has helped to decrease abortion in Pennsylvania.
 
  The Word from Lansing: 2019-2020- A Blueprint for the Common Good  
 
In last week's Lansing Update, MCC described the advocacy principles that will guide staff in the 2019-2020 state legislative session: human life and dignity, preferential option for the poor and regulatory policies, religious liberty, education, children and families, health care, restorative justice, immigration and refugees, and care for creation. In The Word from Lansing column for Catholic newspapers this month, MCC's President and CEO delves further into the importance of engagement, advocacy, and collaboration, guided by these principles. 

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Michigan Catholic Conference, 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933 Michigan Catholic Conference: The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan Phone: (517) 372-9310, Fax: (517) 372-3940, publicpolicy@micatholic.org