Catholic Schools around the country will be celebrating Catholic Schools Week January 26-February 1. This is the 40th anniversary of Catholic Schools Week. The themes have changed year after year but this year the theme truly reflects the mission of Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.
Catholic schools are communities of faith. We witness this community in action so many times in our Catholic schools. From fundraisers to help a family in need, to supporting disasters in our world, to sponsoring a Godchild in Guatemala; Catholic schools are communities of Faith and Service.
Study upon study demonstrates the success of Catholic schools academically. Catholic schools see potential in all children and strive to help each child reach his/her academic potential. Catholic schools have a 99% graduation rate compared with a national graduation rate of 75%.
Why aren’t there more children in Catholic schools? The biggest issue facing families is the affordability of a Catholic education. Tuition rates in the Diocese of St. Cloud are over $2000 per child. Families today have less discretionary income to spend on education. The cost of living has increased and the average family lives from paycheck to paycheck. How do we pay teachers a just wage and keep schools affordable? This is a struggle. We have so many dedicated teachers who make 75% or less than their public school counterparts.