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Preface

An Encouraging Moment

The Philanthropy Roundtable has been a national leader in school reform for two decades, and every year we deepen our expertise and ability to guide donors who want to invest in improving American schooling. In just the past couple years we’ve produced five meaty how-to guides outlining practical details of being a savvy donor in various sectors of education reform.

This guidebook on the best ways to support Catholic schools is an all-new successor to our guide published six years ago on the same topic. With research background from Anthony Pienta of the Roundtable, it was written by educational-excellence authority Andy Smarick and Kelly Robson of Bellwether Education Partners. Andy and the editor of this guidebook, Karl Zinsmeister, organized the first White House ­Summit on Catholic and other faith-based schools back in 2008, where the President released their White House report on the “crisis” in religious schooling, Preserving a Critical National Asset.

The present moment is much more encouraging. This new book includes the freshest data and the very latest case histories, and compared to the Roundtable’s previous book and the White House report, the prognosis for Catholic schooling looks much brighter. Indeed, we believe these institutions that contribute so much to our nation (and especially to urban families and the health of our cities) could be on the cusp of a renaissance.

It is donors who will mostly decide that. They helped Catholic schools turn a corner over the past few years, and if they step in now with expanded resource support and a burst of energy backing modernization and accountability, some deeply impressive things can happen during the next decade in our Catholic schools.

The Philanthropy Roundtable gratefully acknowledges assistance toward the publication of this guidebook from the Achelis and ­Bodman, Louis Calder, William E. Simon, and Riordan foundations, and John Stollenwerk.

Adam Meyerson
President, The Philanthropy Roundtable

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