Acknowledging the pain, Philly archbishop says school changes unavoidable

    Catholics across the Philadelphia area are checking a list after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia released the names of four Catholic high schools and 44 elementary schools that will close or be partnered with other schools.  Archbishop Charles Chaput said Friday tough choices are never easy.”We’ll do everything we reasonably can to assist any teacher who loses his or her position.  No archbishop and no school administrator ever wants to see a Catholic school close,” Chaput said. “It’s something we never want to see but as I often say, we can’t afford to fool ourselves.”Many of the Catholic schools have struggled with falling enrollment numbers and rising costs.  The announcement left many students, teachers and alumni saddened, but Blue Ribbon Commission member Gerald Parsons said the goal is to look forward by building on the existing system of Catholic education.

    “The goal is to strengthen our schools, enhance our academic programs and secure our outlook for the future,” Parsons said. “We need to plan for the future so three years from now we are not facing the same problems we have today.”The reorganization is the result of a yearlong analysis of the struggling Catholic school system that serves the city and four suburban counties.

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