Denver Catholic Schools Fight to Remain Open

“Five Catholic elementary schools at risk of losing Archdiocese of Denver funding will remain open and receive financial support this coming school year.

School Superintendent Richard Thompson said all five will receive some level of aid because their efforts to boost enrollment and raise funds “showed promise” enough for the archdiocese to help out one more year.

The schools have planted seeds to become financially self-sufficient but requested time to see them take root, Thompson said.

“They all worked very, very hard,” he said. “People on the fence stepped forward to help. The schools showed enough tangible results we hated to see that clipped. We wanted to partner with them.”

Two of the five schools on the chopping block were Presentation of Our Lady and St. Catherine of Siena. The other three schools have chosen not to release information to the general public about their financial issues, and so the archdiocese will not disclose their identities.

Presentation of Our Lady pastor Ed Poehlmann said he has been heartened by the support of the Catholic community and beyond in keeping his school open for a new year, which begins Monday. A golf tournament over the weekend raised $20,000 for the school, he said.

“We’re doing a lot better,” Poehlmann said.

Thompson said preserving the schools for another year was good news, yet he remained guarded about long-term prospects given recent patterns of lower charitable contributions and declining enrollments.” – “Five Denver Catholic Schools Survive Financial Straits to Stay Open”, DenverPost.com

This article from The Denver Post is a topic that has come up in almost all areas of the US recently. A lot of Catholic schools are struggling to remain open because of smaller numbers of students enrolling. This is to be expected when there is public education available, and Catholic schooling costs extra. Catholic schools can be quite costly, but it is my thinking that they are truly worth the extra money it costs. More schools should begin doing fundraisers such as the golf outing discussed above. This is one of the ways these schools can make a push to remain open. If you would like to read the full text of the article, click here.