The Archdiocese of Newark has decided to close or merge some of its 170 Catholic schools in the next few due to declining enrolments, which have led to higher tuition. School enrolment in the archdiocese is down from about 100,000 students several decades ago, reported Newsday.
The archdiocese’s New Energies Task Force for Schools studied how the schools can better educate their 56,000 students. It also set guidelines for a minimum enrolment of 200 to 225 students for each K-8 school, a balanced budget and a "Catholic and Christ-centered program."
The archdiocese announced its plan in the latest issue of the archdiocesan newspaper, the Catholic Advocate, just two weeks after it provided a list of parishes, which could be closed or merged. The schools report did not list specific schools slated for closure.
Last year, the archdiocese spent nearly $4 million of its $29-million budget subsidizing churches and schools.