Luther’s Story17 Jun

Luther Scruggs is a Catholic school parent in Kentucky. This is his message for Senator Mitch McConnell and other federal officials on why they should support nonpublic school families in the next COVID-19 relief bill.

I am a graduate of Holy Cross High School in Latonia, Kentucky.  The education that I received instilled in me important values and qualities that I wanted for my own children. My older children attended Holy Family Catholic School for Kindergarten through eighth grade and then graduated from Holy Cross High School like me. Both completed undergraduate degrees in business and have done well in their careers. 

I wanted to give this same type of education to my younger child, Zakia.  I am a single parent with limited financial means which meant that we faced certain challenges when it came to giving her this opportunity. 

Selecting a school for my daughter was a very personal decision.  I considered that each of my children learned in different ways and therefore the same grade school that was best for my older children might not be ideal for my youngest. Fortunately, there are several Catholic schools in Northern Kentucky’s urban community from which I was able to choose.

After giving it a great deal of thought, I decided to send her to Prince of Peace Montessori School.  It was a perfect fit.  

However, things have not always been easy.  At one point, due to physical limitations resulting from an accident, I lost my job. This forced me to give up my home and car. I had to move in with a relative and walk my daughter to school every day, rain or shine. 

However, because of my financial situation, tuition for Prince of Peace could not be met and I believed that I would have to withdraw her from school.  At the insistence of my daughter’s school principal, I applied for, and my daughter received, financial aid. Prince of Peace is part of a local network of urban private schools known as the Alliance for Catholic Urban Education (“ACUE”). Through the generosity of local supporters, ACUE offers financial assistance to hundreds of families every year. All neighborhood children are welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic standing, or their faith. ACUE families do pay tuition, however they do so at a level based on their ability to pay.

Zakia is continuing to benefit from the education that she is receiving from Prince of Peace. She recently completed fifth grade and has a bright future ahead of her.  I am grateful for the opportunities that she has and I do my best to give back to the school by volunteering and serving as the school-crossing guard. 

Prince of Peace and ACUE helped me during my time of need.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting Catholic schools and the families that attend them hard. The opportunities that my family has been given may not be available to others if this is allowed to continue.  That is why I am asking that Senator Mitch McConnell and our other elected officials pass a bill that will help make sure that these types of options continue to exist in Kentucky and across the United States. 

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