The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced the decision to hand over management of Philadelphia’s Catholic high schools to the privately run Faith in the Future Foundation. The transition, which affects over 20 schools, is creating the country’s first independently run Catholic school system. At a news conference announcing the change, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput noted, “While this decision reflects a paradigm shift, it serves to change the organizational structure for Catholic education, not its mission.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Grade schools will still be managed by the parishes, with curriculum support from the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Education. That office, though, will now report to the foundation.
Bishop Michael Fitzgerald, who oversees education for the archdiocese, said in an interview that school costs have long been rising and enrollment shrinking.
“We’ve done a good job for years on the educational side,” he said. “We still do. It doesn’t mean that we can’t do that in more creative ways, through some other entrepreneurial partnerships.”
For more on philanthropic efforts to save and revitalize Catholic schools around the country see the Roundtable’s guidebook, Saving America’s Urban Catholic Schools, and Christopher Levenick’s feature in Philanthropy on the non-Catholic patron saints of inner-city Catholic education.