Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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Catholic Education Daily


Why are Catholic Schools Closing?

Tatiana Schlossberg, writing for The Record, provides a look at the reasons so many Catholic schools are closing across the country. She writes that 150 are expected to close this year, with 24 closures in New York alone.

Among the reasons she cites for the closures are: a faltering economy, fewer Church members, rising costs and the inability of families to pay, secularization, and changing demographics.

Schlossberg notes that when Catholic schools close it not only hurts the Catholic school, but public schools as well. She quotes Irene Sterling, president of the Paterson Education Fund, a nonprofit agency that works with the community to help improve education in Paterson, N.J.: "When schools close, whether they're charter schools or Catholic schools, we get kids going into already-overcrowded schools."

Schlossberg notes one bright spot, however – communities that are reaching out to new immigrants.

…some parishes and schools have long been making a concerted effort to include Spanish-speaking Catholic immigrants in their communities. For instance, the Newark Archdiocese sometimes uses madrinas, or "godmothers" — members of a particular congregation who speak Spanish — to seek out families who they think might be interested in a Catholic school, but are disconnected from the community by language and unfamiliarity. …That speaks to the Church’s willingness to adapt to its changing population.

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