Catholic educators concerned about declining enrollment - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Catholic educators concerned about declining enrollment

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GIRARD, Ohio -

Local Catholic educators are raising questions about the current state and future of Catholic education in the Valley.

The closing of St. Joseph and Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Austintown will be the 18th elementary school into close in the Youngstown Diocese in the past 10 years and total enrollment has declined 48% in that decade.

It's a trend that has Catholic educators concerned. “I think one of the chief concerns is financial. That individuals do not have the means to send their children to the parochial schools,” said Rev. Msgr. John Zuraw, St. Rose Church, Girard.

The average tuition for elementary schools ranges from $2,300 to $2,995 for the first child and between $4,600 and $4,755 for two children.

St. Rose School in Girard is parish supported and has maintained an enrollment of about 250 students from more than 25 different school districts.

Principal Linda Borton says Catholic schools have to keep pace with all of the technology in the many brand new schools in the Valley.

“We have all of that technology, so I think it's important that the Catholic schools keep up with that,” Borton said.

Declining enrollments at the elementary level can also be a concern for Catholic high schools because the elementary schools are traditionally their feeder schools.

“Will be able to sustain high schools as we have done in the past,” said Msgr. Zuraw.

Borton believes schools will need strong support from the parish and their alumni base, as well as parents who are committed.

“You know, if they're committed to the Catholic faith and the Catholic education, they will find a way to get them to the Catholic high school,” Borton said.


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