Amid an unstable housing market that is changing demographics, Florida Catholic Schools are still enrolling nearly 91,000 students.
Total enrollment in the 221 Florida Catholic schools is 90,739, which is a 2,439 decline from a year ago. Click here for current statistics.
“What our figures suggest is stability of our collective student bodies despite economic factors relating to projections that there might be a precipitous decline in enrollment,” said Larry Keough, associate director of education at the Florida Catholic Conference.
"Although enrollment has declined for the second consecutive year," Keough said, "the actual net loss of 5,336 students indicates a core base of families who are unwavering in their support of Florida Catholic schools in hard-economic times."
Enrollment in Catholic high schools has been particularly stable at the secondary level, from 25,904 two years ago, to 25,705 a year ago and 25,560 this year.
The 2007-2008 Catholic school statistics are released in preparation for Catholic Schools Week, a national celebration from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. This year's theme for the celebration is “Catholic Schools Light the Way.” National Appreciation Day for Catholic schools will be Wednesday, Jan. 30.
In this era of soaring educational costs, the average diocesan per-pupil expenditure – which exceeds tuition as the total cost to educate a student – is $5,094 for K-8 schools and $8,333 for secondary schools. Approximately 38 percent of Florida Catholic school students are minorities, many of whom are enrolled through the Corporate Tax Scholarship Program and the McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities. According to scholarship program statistics, 151 Catholic schools are participating in the two statewide scholarship programs, enrolling a total of 3,502 students.