Restructuring initiative addresses critical financial issues facing Catholic Schools; tuition rate to drop 27%

January 18, 2008

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  Critical issues addressed by Schools Task Force

  • A spiraling deficit of more than $1 million for our Monroe County school system, which, unchecked, would rise to more than $5 million next year.
  • Escalating tuition costs in recent years, pressuring families financially and forcing many to look elsewhere for their children’s education.
  • An enrollment decline from nearly 9,000 pupils a decade ago to just over 4,800 this school year – a 45 percent drop.
  • With enrollment declining and many buildings under capacity, average cost per student jumped from about $2,700 ten years ago to more than $6,000 now. In some individual schools, these trends were much worse, ranging as high as $12,000.

Restructuring initiative addresses critical financial issues facing Catholic Schools; tuition rate to drop 27%

ROCHESTER, New York (Jan. 18, 2008) – Accepting the recommendations of a special task force assembled to address critical issues facing Catholic Education, Bishop Matthew H. Clark announced today a major restructuring initiative in Monroe County aimed at concentrating all school resources at 11 schools and dramatically lowering tuition by nearly 30 percent.

This initiative to ensure the success of these 11 schools will mean the closure of 13 others in Monroe County.

In an effort to boost enrollment, which has declined by approximately 45 percent in the last decade, the Bishop announced that the base tuition rate will drop from $4,050 to $2,950, a key recommendation of the task force. Parents affected by closings will receive an additional, one-time $500 credit when they re-enroll their child in another Catholic School.

“I firmly believe that the changes we are implementing, while they are far-reaching and will likely cause much sadness for those displaced by school closings, are essential, the Bishop said. “By acting now, we can free the system of potentially crippling financial woes and ensure our overall Catholic School program will not just survive but thrive in the future. We can focus all our resources on a core of strong and vibrant schools — ensuring they will be centers of excellence for the 21st Century and beyond.”

The much-lower tuition rate will greatly increase the ability of families able to afford a Catholic education at our schools and is intended to draw new families to them.

List of schools to close in June 2008:

  • All Saints Catholic Academy, Gates
  • Catherine McAuley School, Greece
  • Corpus Christi School, Rochester
  • Good Shepherd School, Henrietta
  • Holy Cross School, Rochester
  • Holy Family School, Rochester
  • Holy Trinity School, Webster
  • Andrew School, Rochester
  • Boniface School, Rochester
  • John the Evangelist, Spencerport
  • John of Rochester, Fairport
  • Margaret Mary School, Irondequoit
  • Monica School, Rochester

Decisions to close the 13 schools were based on a number of key factors, including current and projected enrollment for each school, projected demographic changes, cost per student to operate the school, the availability of nearby schools, the condition of school facilities compared to other schools and/or, in some cases, small class sizes not conducive to a good learning environment.

Registration extended

Registration for the 2008-09 school year has been extended from Feb. 7 until March 19 for currently enrolled students

The tuition rates for the upcoming school year will be as follows:

Parish-registered families

Non-parishioner families
One child                    $2,950 One child             $3,975
2nd child                     $1,770 2nd child             $2,385
Each additional child  $950 not to exceed $7,300 Each additional child  + $1,250

Bishop Clark said that he is confident in the future, one in which every effort will be made to ensure that the remaining schools are at the forefront of technology and academic excellence.

“We are fully committed to ensuring Catholic Schools continue to offer not only the unique gift of instilling in our children the traditions of our Roman Catholic faith, but also are places of academic and technological excellence,” he said. “That is why Catholic school students consistently perform above-average statewide on New York state testing, and why many of our graduates go on to become leaders in our community and in their chosen profession.

Current enrollment in Monroe County is approximately 4,883. Before the implementation of the recommendations, projected enrollment for the 2008-09 school year was 4,040. The chart below shows the decline in enrollment in recent years:

  1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
MCCS K-8 7541 7366 7321 7127 6726 6266 5697 5220 4806 4344 3892
MCCS Pre-K 1329 1275 1210 1198 1142 1203 1160 1135 1062 981 991
MCCS Pre-K-8 8870 8641 8531 8325 7868 7469 6857 6355 5868 5325 4883


Nationally, elementary school enrollment has dropped by 15 percent since 2001-02, according to the National Catholic Education Association, which also reports that in the 06-07 school year more than 212 schools were closed or consolidated across the country.

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