Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic World News

A frank appraisal of Catholic-school decline

March 22, 2024

» Continue to this story on National Catholic Register

CWN Editor's Note: “After six decades of decline, it’s time to get serious about a renewal of Catholic education,” writes Patrick Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society in the National Catholic Register.

While recent reports have shown a rise in the number of students at parochial schools, Reilly argues that “the media and many in the Church seem to willfully disregard other ominous trends.” In fact, he reports:

  • the total number of Catholic-school students in the US remained essentially unchanged, at 1.7 million;
  • while the number of preschool students climbed, total enrollment otherwise declined in 2022-2023;
  • in the lockdown year 2020-2021, enrollment dropped by 6.4% and 209 Catholic schools closed; enrollment has never returned to the pre-lockdown level;
  • Another 170 Catholic schools have closed or merged since 2021; and
  • The percentage of Catholic students attending Catholic schools has plummeted from 97% in 1970 to 72% today.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Mar. 26, 2024 6:01 PM ET USA

    A result of tone-deaf bishops and "educators" who fear or are apathetic to better forms of education and training.