Archbishop Wuerl proposes Catholic schools being converted to charter schools to avert closure
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Archbishop Donald Wuerl has proposed converting eight of the District's 28 Catholic schools into secular charter schools in an effort to save them from closure. The archbishop said the archdiocese can no longer afford to keep them open.

The schools, which are located in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods, would receive operating and facilities funds from the District if converted. At this time, the archdiocese subsidizes a large portion of the students’ tuition. The schools would remain in their current buildings and pay rent to the parishes.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the archdiocese sent letters home with students yesterday explaining the proposal, which would take effect as soon as fall 2008 and impact 1,400 current students. Starting next week, individual schools will hold information sessions to solicit parent and community feedback. Archbishop Wuerl is expected to make a final decision next month.

The reaction to date has been negative. Some parents argue that the proposal strips the majority black student population of high-quality education.

Under a charter model, archdiocese officials said, the schools would still have strong values, but the schools' names would change and specific religious references would be removed from the curriculum.

The plan, which has been vetted by two church bodies and floated to city officials, would require the District to increase its budget for charter schools. Victor Reinoso, deputy mayor for education, said that the diocesan proposal is a possibility, reported the Washington Post.

The archdiocese’s proposal stems from a decade of financial losses at 12 inner-city schools and a yearlong study by a committee of 40 parents, teachers, and archdiocesan staff.

Of the 12 inner-city schools, eight would be converted to charters managed by a single secular entity selected by the archdiocese. The four others would remain Catholic.

Soon after Archbishop Wuerl arrived in Washington D.C. in June 2006, he said that he heard from Catholic education officials that the inner-city schools were no longer financially viable. Part of the reason was that many poor families were choosing charter schools, which are free.

"One by one, families left to go to charters . . . and it was a kind of steady drifting away," said Monsignor Charles Pope, pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Roman Catholic Church in Southeast Washington, whose parish school, which dates to the 1920s, would be converted to a charter.

Msgr. Pope looks at the plan as a better alternative than shutting down. He told the Washington Post, "At least we'll be able to serve children in some capacity in our neighborhoods."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20