Richard Riordan: Saving Roman Catholic Education

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Catholic Education Foundation announced a campaign to raise $100 million for Catholic schools in our area.

Catholic education in the United States is in dire straits. A report from Loyola Marymount University in June found that Catholic schools continue to close even though they graduate 98% of their high school students and send almost all of them onto college. In the early 1960s, the U.S. had over 13,000 Catholic schools with 5.5 million students. Today there are 6,900 schools with two million students. In the Los Angeles area, enrollment has fallen by 20% over the past 10 years, to 80,000 students from 100,000. This trend is due not to lack of demand, but to the inability of parents to pay tuition.

The urban poor are more desperate than ever for Catholic education. Urban public schools have failed these families, graduating approximately 30% of Los Angeles high school students in four years. Catholic schools are their best hope—something I know from personal experience.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

2 Comments
Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Charles52 wrote:

Catholic education isn’t worth saving without a thorough renewal in the Faith. Part of the problem is cost, sure, but how much is that a symptom of an underlying spiritual and doctrinal malaise?

September 30, 4:46 pm | [comment link]
2. Vatican Watcher wrote:

Exactly what number one said.  Back before the religious orders were corrupted (Los Angeles being ground zero of that corruption in the 60s with the IHM Sisters), Catholic education was seen as charity with religious under vows of poverty working to educate the masses.

Now lay teachers may be as altruistic, but they still want salaries and benefits just like employees at public school.

October 2, 6:38 pm | [comment link]
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