A long list of Catholic schools is slated for closure or consolidation by the Philadelphia archdiocese. Thousands of students and adults will be affected. Is it enough to save the system? What choices are left to students?
The Philadelphia archdiocese’s Blue Ribbon Commission released its listing of Catholic schools it is recommending for closure and consolidation, sending the lives of thousands of teachers, administrators, school employees, students and parents into chaos.
BRC member Ed Hanway reported some dismal enrollment numbers equal to the levels of 100 years ago, indicating a drop of 72% since 1961. Both parish subsidies to schools and the gap between tuition and the cost of educating each child have increased 25 percent in the last decade.
The commission, tapped by the archdiocese to make a whole raft of structural changes to keep Catholic education in the area financially sustainable, seems to have little choice but to recommend the closures.
Many affected parents will now need to find ways of getting their kids to new, unfamiliar schools. Some students may be driven away from Catholic schools. What options does this leave for students?
Do you think the plan will save Catholic education in Philadelphia—or should more tax money go toward support?