Catholic schools continue to struggle as two more close

    The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is planning to close two more of its elementary schools at the end of the academic year. The archdiocese is citing declining enrollment and increasing costs.

    The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is planning to close two more of its elementary schools at the end of the academic year. The archdiocese is citing declining enrollment and increasing costs.

    Transcript:
    St. Benedict Parish School in East Germantown and St. Ann Parish School in Bristol Borough, Bucks County would have had to increase tuition to between four and five thousand dollars a student to cover costs for the academic year begining in September. They opted to shut down.

    Mary Rochford is Superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese.  She says 22 Catholic elementary schools have closed in the region since 2004.

    Rochford: “Can we say it has to do with the economy now i’m sure it’s challenging to all parents to pay the tuition as the numbers come down the tuition only increases.”

    Rochford adds tuition at a viable school can be half that of a struggling one.  Catholic Church expert and author Kenneth Briggs says the problem is a shortage of nuns, who cost less to employ than lay teachers.

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    [audio: reports20090331catholic.mp3]

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