I do my best to keep up with state and national trends in Catholic schools. There are many exciting initiatives in the Catholic school world including the Alliance for Catholic Education (of which I’m an alumnus) and the Cristo Rey model of education which brings an innovative way to fund a Catholic high school education for the poor. Innovation is helping schools stay open and it’s helping schools to begin. Alongside that, however, is a growing trend of schools closing.
In 1960, there were 12,893 Catholic schools in the United States. In 2010, there were 7,000. Just in the past seven years, 664 Catholic schools have closed including 96 in the last year. This is the result of poor management of resources but also the result of shifting demographics and rising costs. For more data see the NCEA stats.
Here at Bishop Kelley, we are about to welcome our largest freshman class ever. We are more financially secure than ever but we have a campus needs list a mile long and we are not able to offer as much tuition assistance as is needed. That being said, through the generosity of many, through sound fiscal practices, and by offering a great education for our students, the future is bright at 41st and Hudson!