Quantcast
Connect with us

Catholic Church to close or merge a dozen schools in Chicago amid attendance drop

Published

on

Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, attends a news conference at the North American College in Rome on March 4, 2013. Photo by Alessandro Bianchi for Reuters.

The Catholic Church will close or merge a dozen of its 240 Chicago-area schools due to falling attendance in some areas of the country’s largest parochial school system, the Archdiocese of Chicago said on Wednesday.

“We will not be able to maintain all schools in their current form,” outgoing Cardinal Francis George said in a letter posted on the website of the archdiocese, which has a deficit of millions of dollars.

ADVERTISEMENT

Six schools would close in June 2015 while another six would merge into three, affecting 1,280 elementary school students, it said.

The archdiocese ran nearly 500 schools in the 1970s.

“Even though our costs are still significantly lower than those of the public school system, expenses have risen significantly over the past decades and the cost of a Catholic education is now beyond what many families can afford,” the letter said.

The archdiocese’s school budget was $337 million in the financial year ended June 2013, with expenses slightly exceeding revenues from tuition and fees, according to a public financial report.

The schools that will be shut down or merged have average enrollment of only 145, below the required minimum of 225, wrote George, who is suffering from kidney cancer and will retire in November and be replaced by Archbishop Blase Cupich.

ADVERTISEMENT

Parochial schools, which are cheaper than other private schools, have long been an option for Chicago families looking for schools that perform better than their local public school. But families with household incomes of $40,000 or less can no longer pay the average $4,500 per student tuition at area Catholic schools, George noted.

He said the Archdiocese had launched a campaign to raise a $150 million endowment fund for scholarships to help families pay for schooling and guarantee the viability of Chicago’s Catholic schools.

Across the United States there are 6,685 Catholic schools and average tuition is $3,673 for elementary parish schools and $9,622 for freshman tuition at a high school. Around the country, 82,000 children attend Catholic elementary and high schools, and 148 schools closed or consolidated last year while 28 new schools opened, according to the website of the National Catholic Educational Association.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Chicago archdiocese covers an area larger than Chicago city proper, where dozens of public schools have been shut in recent years due to a declining population and tight budgets.

(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Eric Walsh)

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Breonna’s Law’ legislator arrested by Louisville police for first-degree rioting: report

Published

on

A spokesman for a police union in Louisville announced on Thursday that the only black woman in the Kentucky legislator had been arrested while protesting the lack of charges for the killing of Breonna Taylor by the Louisville Metro Police Department.

"Kentucky State Rep. Attica Scott, author of legislation known as "Breonna’s Law," was arrested with others Thursday evening during protests demanding justice for Breonna Taylor," WDRB-TV reports. "Scott, a Louisville Democrat, was among a group of individuals arrested near the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library and First Unitarian Church at the intersection of South Fourth and York streets, according to Tracy Dotson, a spokesman for Louisville Corrections Lodge #77 Fraternal Order of Police union. Scott was charged with first-degree rioting and failure to disperse, Dotson said."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

WATCH: Late-night hosts go off on Trump for ‘chilling’ plan ‘to steal the election’

Published

on

Late-night television hosts harshly criticized President Donald Trump for refusing to say there would be a peaceful transition of power if he loses the November election.

"In one of the more chilling moments of his presidency -- and they've been a few -- Donald Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power as Republicans formulated the plan to steal the election through the courts," Seth Meyers explained.

"We're as close as we've ever been to losing our democracy and watching our government transform into an autocratic regime," he continued. "It's happen right in front our eyes right now, you don't need to wait for Trump to roll down Pennsylvania Avenue on a tank in green fatigues with a long chin-beard -- especially since if he did try to grow one he'd probably just look like a very sick chihuahua."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

White supremacist gang member shot dead after ambushing police in California: report

Published

on

Authorities in California on Thursday announced that one man was dead after a shootout with law enforcement.

"A white supremacist gang member was killed in a gun battle with law enforcement after he ambushed and shot a deputy pursuing him Thursday near the Templeton Cemetery, Sheriff Ian Parkinson said at a news conference," The Triubune reported Thursday.

"According to Parkinson, a sheriff’s deputy was driving in the Theatre Drive area around 10:20 a.m. when the deputy recognized the car of a wanted felon parked on the side of the road. The deputy made a U-turn and pulled up next to the vehicle, which was unoccupied. The deputy then proceeded north and found the man walking on Cemetery Road off Theatre Drive near the Templeton Cemetery, Parkinson said. He said the deputy tried to make a pedestrian traffic stop, but the man took off running toward the cemetery," the newspaper reported.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE