Catholic school effort in Philadelphia draws on lay expertise
Edward Hanway.
Edward Hanway.
By Michelle Bauman
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The head of an independent Catholic foundation says a new lay management initiative for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will help improve finances and enrollment levels.

“It clearly establishes the role of the laity here to bring significant expertise and capabilities,” said Edward Hanway, chair and acting CEO of the Faith in the Future Foundation.

Hanway explained to CNA on Aug. 20 that the new partnership unites these capabilities with the “outstanding educational product” and promotion of Catholic beliefs and values that is being offered by the schools in the archdiocese.  

On Aug. 21, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced a cooperative management agreement between the archdiocesan office of education and the Faith in the Future Foundation.

Hanway said that the foundation will provide “both strategic and operational management for our 17 high schools and four schools of special education” in the archdiocese.

The Faith in the Future Foundation, an independent 501c3 organization, was created in February after a Blue Ribbon Commission on Catholic Education in the archdiocese published its report, recommending the closure of numerous schools in the archdiocese, including four local high schools.

However, after an appeals process was completed, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput decided to grant a reprieve to the four high schools, based on a plan to create a new kind of partnership with the broader community.

The Faith in the Future Foundation was established with a commitment “to raising money to support the high schools and also taking on the responsibility to fund the aggregate operating deficit of the high schools,” Hanway said.

He added that the foundation has been working collaboratively with the archdiocese for months to structure an agreement that would formalize their relationship.

Under the new arrangement, the foundation will assume “day-to-day management responsibilities for the schools,” he explained.

The archdiocesan office of education will now report to CEO of the foundation, and its efforts will be complemented by the foundation’s work in areas such as development, marketing and admissions.

This unique arrangement is innovative, he said, because it takes “the legacy and the strength of the Catholic education system here” and combines it with “a commitment of lay talent to more effectively manage those schools, to oversee the financial health and well-being of those schools and to promote them much more effectively.”

Ultimately, he said, the expectation is that the schools will “begin to grow again in enrollment as a result of these activities.”

The foundation is currently taking concrete steps to ease the difficulties experienced by the schools in the areas of finances and enrollment, Hanway said.

He explained that “the strength and the contribution of our schools is well recognized” within the corporate and public community in Philadelphia.

The foundation is working closely to “enhance” the efforts of an organization called Business Leaders Organized for Catholic Schools, which has worked for years to raise money for local Catholic schools, he said.

In addition, the foundation is encouraging businesses to sign up for the new Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program, which offers tax breaks to companies that donate money to benefit students living in the boundaries of low-performing schools.

Hanway expects this program to provide scholarships for “a significant number of the children who either attend our schools today or who would like to but simply can’t afford it.”

The new initiative in the archdiocese will require the continued “commitment and dedication” of the archdiocesan teachers, educators, parents and students, Hanway noted.

“We need the support of both the private and the public community in fundraising efforts that will assist us in reducing the cost of a Catholic education,” he added.

Success will also require the “increasing support of lay people who believe in our Catholic education system” and are willing to contribute their talents and resources, he said.

Hanway observed that many people stepped forward in the months after the Blue Ribbon Commission’s report on the archdiocesan schools was released.

“We need that to continue,” he said.

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