Old School Values

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 Old School Values.

April 2, 2008

My old Catholic elementary school has been struggling, and that’s not good for anybody. St. Germaine School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will merge with another Catholic school because of declining enrollment at both schools. St. Germaine’s enrollment dropped from 172 students just six years ago to 86 this year.

Sister Dale McDonald, Director of Public Policy and Education Research at the National Catholic Educational Association, told me that declining enrollment is a national trend. Though there is some growth in the South and the West, Catholic schools are shutting down at the rate of more than 100 per year.

Why? Catholic families are having fewer children. Costs have gone up — health care, teacher salaries, liability insurance — driving tuitions up. And Catholic families aren’t as attached to their parishes as families were when I was a kid.

For more on the subject of modern Catholic schools, click here. 

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