“All kids matter”? Catholic institutional advocacy for federal COVID relief funding for non-public schools
Keywords:Catholic schools, private schools, school choice, education policy, critical discourse analysis, CARES Act, COVID-19, interest convergence, critical race theory, neoliberalism, neoconservatism
This article explores the policy interests expressed by the largest private educational system in the United States, American Catholic schools, during the first four months of the COVID-19 crisis. Critical discourse analysis is applied to public texts produced by the Catholic Church between March 1 and July 1, 2020, in order to understand the discursive strategies through which this institution constructs meaning in the policy arena. This analysis illustrates how Catholic leaders use language to make racialized and low-income students “discursively invisible.” The author documents a significant change in policy discourse, from neoconservative logics to neoliberal ones, which corresponds directly to political signaling from the Trump Administration. Drawing on critical race theory, the author suggests implications for policymakers and stakeholders.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Kathleen M. Sellers
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