Tragically, the writing is on the wall for many of the Catholic schools, which have been closing in the city at an alarming rate. Costs are rising, and enrollments are in decline as a result. Individual contributors and foundations, suffering deep losses to their portfolios, are struggling to sustain the levels of assistance that they provided so generously before the Wall Street meltdown. Job losses have diminished many parents’ capacity to pay tuitions, further cutting into enrollments.
Almost 500 Catholic elementary schools closed nationwide last year, the 2009 Official Catholic Directory reports, more than doubling the previous year’s number of closings.