Liturgy materials are available, as well as summaries of the Bishops’ statement in English and Spanish.

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"We aren't asking for anything other than what public school kids need," said Kathleen Domingo, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church of California. "I don't understand why the department has been choosing to drag their feet in such a prolonged manner."

Recognizing that all schools were struggling with Covid, Congress offered help this year for private along with public schools. The $5.5 billion for non-public schools was small compared with the $230 billion in pandemic relief for public schools since March 2020, but nonetheless an unprecedented amount.

Congress titled it "Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools" to stress that the money should go out the door quickly, especially to schools serving low-income families. A big beneficiary was to be California's urban parochial schools, surviving financially for years on the margins and on their wits. Still, they wondered if the state's share — $368 million split over two rounds of funding —was too good to be true.

For the seven months since Gov. Gavin Newsom applied for and received the money, it has been. Some schools fronted tens of thousands of dollars for Chromebooks, air filtration systems and PPE assuming they'd be quickly reimbursed. They weren't. The first checks went out last week, and most won't be paid until sometime next month.

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