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Catholic school enrollment continues to fall in US

Catholic World News - April 05, 2013

The number of students enrolled in Catholic primary and secondary schools in the United States has fallen by 1.5% in the past year to 2,001,740, according to data released by the National Catholic Education Association.

More than 5.2 million students were enrolled in Catholic schools in the early 1960s, with 2,647,301 enrolled in 2000.

148 Catholic schools have closed or consolidated in the past year, while 28 have opened. There are now 6,685 Catholic schools, down from almost 13,000 in the early 1960s and 8,146 in 2000.

The average parish school tuition is now $3,673, while the average high school tuition for a freshman is $9,622.

75% of teachers in Catholic schools are laywomen, 22% are laymen, 2% are sisters, and 1% are priests, deacons, or brothers.

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  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Apr. 07, 2013 2:24 PM ET USA

    "...like watching a car wreck in slow motion." So true. Pulling kids because the cost is so high - absolutely - and because the faith is less important in our daily lives. But the practical reality prevails when responsibility to ones family outweighs any individual expense. The answer is not in bringing back the "old ... orders". The answer is re-educating / Catechizing our families. But how? Accept a generation or two is lost? The practical cost still is a reality. How, how?

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Apr. 05, 2013 2:04 PM ET USA

    I see a need to return to the old teaching (and nursing) orders, and an apostolate to all people, not just Catholics.

  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 05, 2013 11:21 AM ET USA

    As a Catholic school teacher, I've seen so many parents having to pull their students because of money and I couldn't afford to send my own children to a Catholic school. Teachers, at best, only make 80% of what their public school counterparts make. Most bishops seem to only give lip-service to Catholic education when it is about the only way to ensure a laity that knows the Faith. CCD programs won't (and don't) hack it - I had to redo much of what they "taught" my kids.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Apr. 05, 2013 8:12 AM ET USA

    We send 3 children to Catholic schools. In the last 3 years, my salary has gone up 3%, but my net hasn't changed due to increased health-care premiums. Meanwhile, tuition has gone up 5% to 6% each year. Gasoline prices have doubled in the last 10 years. The math says more people are going to opt out of the system. Combine that with minimal teaching of a "soft" Catholicism, and we have inexpensive private schools for a shrinking upper middle class. It's like watching a car wreck in slow motion.

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