Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Catholic Schools, Contemporary Issues
Thomas C. Hunt
Contemporary Catholic schools face major challenges at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the most basic being money—or lack of it. This is particularly true in the urban areas where, in the decade between 1986 and 1996, the number of Catholic elementary schools declined from a total of 3,424 to 3,139, about 8.3 percent; their suburban counterparts dropped from 2,232 to 2,150, a decrease of almost 3.75 percent. The number of urban secondary schools declined from 750 to 613, whereas suburban secondary schools recorded a smaller loss, decreasing from 420 to 413. The situation has grown worse since then, as the recent announcement by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) revealed. In the 2004–2005 academic year, 173 Catholic schools, many in urban areas, were either closed or consolidated, constituting a decline of 2.6 percent, due to rising costs, changing demographics, and declining enrollment. Subsequently, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced that ...