Catholic Schools Q & A

Why are schools being closed?
The Monroe County Catholic Schools system has a deficit of more than $1 million, which is projected to grow to approximately $5 million next year if no action is taken. The school system simply cannot afford to keep open buildings that continue to increase in operating costs but have fewer and fewer students each year. A volunteer Task Force appointed by Bishop Clark, after careful analysis, determined that 13 schools must close and resources should be concentrated in 11 remaining schools.

How did the Task Force determine which schools should close?
The Task Force appointed by Bishop Clark analyzed each school and weighed a number of factors. These included past enrollment trends and projections, area population trends, class size, cost per student to operate the school and future projected costs, building and maintenance costs, availability of schools in close proximity, and overall condition of facilities.

What caused these financial problems?
Cost per student has risen dramatically because enrollment has declined from nearly 9,000 students a decade ago to 4,883 now. Tuition is the main source of income we use to operate our schools.  At the same time as enrollment has declined, and tuition income has decreased, we have experienced higher costs to operate the buildings, such as heat, light and insurance, as well as salaries and benefits.

Will the school closings stabilize the overall system now?
 It is Bishop Clark’s hope that this action, while painful for individual schools, staffs and families, will benefit the system as a whole and make it financially viable. By closing these 13 schools, the deficit situation is no longer a threat to the entire system. This enables MCCS to offer a much-lower tuition rate. In turn, the lower tuition rate is expected to stem the decline in enrollment and make a Catholic education more affordable to more families.

I want to keep my child in Catholic School, but our school is closing. Where do we go now?
All the schools to be closed are located in areas in which one or more remaining schools can accommodate more students. In fact, all of our schools are open to families whose school is closing. All families displaced by school closings will have opportunities to meet and ask questions of principals and staffs at neighboring schools in a variety of ways, including special Open Houses, invitations to personal visits and tours. Specific information will be coming to you soon.

Who qualifies for the $500 special credit?
Tuition will be reduced substantially for all families, whether their school is closing or not. The new rates are contained in the letter from Bishop Clark. As an added incentive only to families whose school is closing, an additional $500 will be taken off their total tuition bill if they re-enroll for the 08-09 school year in another Monroe County Catholic school. This is a one-time credit per family. Financial aid will still be available to all families who qualify regardless of which school is attended.

When is registration?
Registration for currently enrolled students has been extended from Feb. 7 to March 19, 2008. Registration packets containing the new, much lower rates will be made available before the registration period begins.

Where do I get more information?
Call 23-LEARN or email schools@dor.org for general information. Feel free to contact individual schools for specific school programs and opportunities. Principals at all Monroe County Schools are willing and able to assist. A complete list of schools is available at http://schools.dor.org