Fight for the salary of Catholic teachers in the event of a pandemic
Minnesotans deserve good policies that will naturally strengthen families. Instead, our current payday loan laws allow lenders to charge extremely high interest rates that become a trap for borrowers. Pope Francis denounces this wear and tear of modern times because it benefits people in desperate financial situations. He warns that the weakening of the family “represents a threat to the mature growth of individuals, the cultivation of community values and the moral progress of cities and countries”.
To help promote families, staff at the Minnesota Catholic Conference continue to advocate for payday loan policy reforms. In mid-August, MCC joined a statewide coalition for a press conference in Duluth where we called on the Minnesota Legislature to adopt a 36% annual interest rate cap. on payday loans – a rate that a new survey finds has strong public support statewide. This rate, which is the maximum allowable rate for veterans loans, would be a morally acceptable borrowing option for families in dire financial straits.
Ensure that teachers in Catholic schools are not forgotten
This summer on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are discussing a financial boost for those who served as frontline workers during the pandemic. The size of the check and the number of people who receive a check will depend on who lawmakers decide it should be considered “frontline” or “essential” workers. The Minnesota Catholic Conference is monitoring whether teachers and support staff in public schools will be included in the benefit program. If this is the case, we will ensure that teachers and staff in non-public Catholic schools who have courageously served our students in person throughout the year are treated fairly in any frontline worker assistance program.
The one-time payment is made possible by $ 2.8 billion in federal funding provided to Minnesota through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The state budget that the Minnesota legislature passed this summer earmarked $ 250 million in ARP funds for “direct financial support to frontline workers” and created a nine-member task force to create a plan. distribution of funds. The task force has until September 6 to provide the Governor, Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader with the legislative language needed to implement their distribution plan.
Restoring the cornerstone of religion in social studies
Catholics statewide have spoken out against removing world religions from Minnesota’s proposed K-12 Social Studies Standards Second Draft. During the public comment period (July 30-August 16), teachers, parents, grandparents and community members urged the K-12 Social Studies Standards Committee of the Department of Minnesota Education to: 1) add religion to the list of elements of a person’s social identity; 2) explicitly list a wide range of world religions; and 3) develop two new benchmarks to ensure that students graduate from high school with an understanding of how religions develop over time and are integrated into all aspects of culture. We will continue to monitor future drafts of the standards.
“Inside the Capitol” is an update from the staff of the Minnesota Catholic Conference. For more MCC resources, join the Catholic Advocacy Network at mncatholic.org