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Catholic Schools Closing for Good Amid Pandemic Pressure

students stand behind a barrier looking at the nuns in front.
Nuns lead school children in song at the Lady Queen of Angels school in 2015.  (John Moore/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 06 September 2020 09:04 AM

Catholic schools are doing more than shuttering under crippling financial conditions from the global coronavirus pandemic. They are shutting down for good.

There were 6,183 Catholic schools up and running last year in the U.S., but about 150 of those private schools have closed, National Catholic Educational Association director and interim President Kathy Mears told The New York Times reported.

"If a school was financially vulnerable, the pandemic was the thing that pushed them over the edge," Mears told the Times.

The issues for Catholic schools began before the pandemic, but out of work parents struggling to meet the needs for tuition have exacerbated the situation, raising the rate of closures 50% higher, according to Mears.

The Archdiocese of New York announced the closing of 20 Catholic schools in July and Boston has closed nine, with about two dozen others on a "watch list," Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Superintendent of Schools Thomas Carroll told the Times.

The number of practicing Catholics in the U.S. have been in decline, so have the number the students enrolling in Catholic schools. It was down to about 1.7 million nationwide in 2019-20 before the pandemic after peaking in the 1960s are 5.2 million.

Four schools in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston closed in April.

"The cataclysmic effects of this pandemic have left us with no options — which breaks our hearts," Cardinal Daniel DiNardo told the Times in a statement.

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Catholic schools are doing more than shuttering under crippling financial conditions from the global coronavirus pandemic. They are shutting down for good....
catholic, schools, pandemic, boston, newyork
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2020-04-06
Sunday, 06 September 2020 09:04 AM
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