< 1 min read
The Archdiocese of New York is about to release a plan to close a number of Catholic schools and to try to consolidate and revitalize the ones that remain. The reaction to the school closures won't be good. Around the country, whenever Catholic schools are shuttered, families (and particularly less affluent families) suffer. Of course, given the difficult financial straits of the Church and the fact that more of its base has been moving to the suburbs, it is hard for the church to keep supporting such an extensive urban school system. But there may be some good news here too. According to an article in the New York Times earlier this week:

The report describes initiatives for recruiting top-flight principals, attracting more Latino students, increasing tuition aid, improving test scores and advertising to promote the record of Catholic schools, whose students tend to do better on standardized tests than public school children.

In other words, it seems as if there is at least going to be a broad strategy to make Catholic education more viable in the future. The Times says that:

The plan calls for closing schools with chronically low enrollments, clustering the remaining schools into regional groups administered by clergy and lay people from neighboring parishes, and spreading the cost more uniformly among the 2.5 million Catholics in the archdiocese, regardless of whether their parishes contain a parochial school. Income from the sale or rental of former school buildings would be shared by all the schools in the system, rather than kept by the parishes in which they sit.

These all seem like good ideas and let's hope they can prevent more school closures in the future.