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Building a stronger future

Diocese supports the CHOOSE Act

On Feb. 6, the Creating Hope and Opportunity for Our Students’ Education (CHOOSE) Act, a school choice bill, was filed in the Alabama legislature. If the bill gets passed, students attending a non-public school can apply to receive up to $7,000 to use toward school tuition at the non-public school of their choice.

The superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Birmingham, Margaret Dubose, noted that the bill would create a “public policy that financially assists parents in choosing the best educational environment for the children by allowing their tax dollars to be used outside of the public school system.”

Qualifying parents would be able to utilize an educational savings account (ESA), similar to a flexible spending account. If passed, the bill will take effect for the 2025-2026 school year. For the first two years, families whose income is at 300% of the poverty level, including those already enrolled in our Catholic schools, will be able to apply. In year three, the 2027-2028 school year, and all subsequent years, any family can apply.

“This legislation along with our partnerships with Scholarship Granting Organizations and our parish and school financial assistance options,” said Dubose, “will move us closer to removing the financial barrier present for many who desire a Catholic education, including our parents who already have students in our schools.”

Dubose encouraged the faithful of the diocese to contact state legislatures to express support of CHOOSE Act. Leading the way were the bishops of Alabama who sent a joint letter to members of the Alabama Legislature. “As spiritual leaders of the Catholic Church in Alabama, we are guided by the teachings of our faith, which affirm the fundamental role of parents as the primary educators of their children,” wrote Archbishop Thomas Rodi of Mobile and Bishop Steven Raica of Birmingham. “Legislation that opens doors for families can be a transformative blessing and support the needs of each child.”

For more information about the CHOOSE Act and how to express support for its passing, please visit

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