Archdiocese: Schools to Form Independent System

Faith in the Future Foundation will manage new Philadelphia Catholic school system.

Continuing a year of restructuring, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Tuesday it would create a new independently managed Catholic school system for area high schools and special education schools.

In a press conference at St. Hubert's High School in Northeast Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles Chaput said the Faith in the Future Foundation—which earlier this year—would manage 17 high schools and four special education schools beginning Sept. 1.

Chaput said the independent system would focus on major fundraising, enrollment management, marketing and cultivating best practices in leadership and education.

"The willingness of lay leaders with a love for Catholic education to step forward is encouraging. The commitment made by the Foundation—a commitment to professional excellence in management, guided by a strong and faithful Catholic identity—will serve our high schools and schools of special education well," Chaput said in a news release. "We have seen the momentum that the Foundation has been able to generate, and we are confident that this agreement will lead to an even stronger school system for the children of the Philadelphia region."   

Structurally, the parochial schools' organization remains mostly the same, for the time being. Each school continues to report to the Office of Catholic Education. However, that office now exists as a division of the Faith in the Future Foundation, not directly within the archdiocese. The archdiocese will continue to own the properties, Chaput said.

Elementary schools will continue to be managed by the archdiocese but through the Office of Catholic Education.

H. Edward Hanway, the current chairman of the Faith in the Future Foundation, will serve as the Foundation's interim CEO until a permanent leader is hired. 

"The independence of the Catholic secondary system, with the schools of special education, was critical to our ability to more fully address the fundraising and enrollment needs of our schools," Hanway said. "With capacity available to educate an additional 15,000 students, we fully intend to grow. This is a ground-breaking approach to educating our children and I am deeply pleased that Archbishop Chaput and Archdiocesan leadership were willing to make such a bold decision in reaching this agreement with the Foundation."

A educational board will be created, which will include members of the archdiocese. 

In an article following the announcement, The Philadelphia Inquirer called the move a "radical, and nationally unprecedented, change to its 120-year-old education system." The Inquirer also reported that Faith in the Future said it had "a goal of raising $100 million in five years, and it is well on its way."

The following schools will be impacted:

  • Archbishop John Carroll High School
  • Archbishop Ryan High School
  • Archbishop Wood High School
  • Bishop McDevitt High School
  • Bishop Shanahan High School
  • Cardinal O'Hara High School
  • Conwell-Egan Catholic High School
  • Father Judge High School for Boys
  • St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls
  • SS. John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School
  • John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School
  • Lansdale Catholic High School
  • Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls
  • Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School
  • Pope John Paul II High School  
  • Roman Catholic High School for Boys
  • West Philadelphia Catholic High School

Schools of Special Education:

  • Archbishop Ryan School for the Deaf
  • St. Katherine Day School
  • St. Lucy School for Children with Visual Impairments
  • Our Lady of Confidence Day School

Visit the Faith in the Future Foundation for more information.

BobJones August 22, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Maybe it'll work out. I hope so. My kids are in Catholic schools.
Barbara H August 22, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Maybe,if they lowered tuition and spent the money in a more constructive way, the enrollement would increase. My son starts highschool this year and the costs are outragious. It is a better alternative to what the public school system has to offer as far as highschools in this area. I don't have the option to move to the burbs, but I think PW and Springfield should consider opening their doors for their highschools. It is income to them!!!
Elizabeth C. August 23, 2012 at 12:10 AM
"Chaput said the independent system would focus on major fundraising, enrollment management, marketing and cultivating best practices in leadership and education." How about teaching the kids? Could you fit that in somewhere?
Pat Achilles August 23, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Teaching children, training teachers and continuing their mission of Christian education will still be the work of the archdiocese itself, Elizabeth. This new foundation will take some of the business burden off the present system and allow parochial school leaders and administrators to focus on making Catholic education even better than it is now. It sounds like a terrific idea to me, moving the system into the 21st century. I had an excellent education through Catholic schools, and my children did too - and many at the top of every profession in the Philadelphia area are proud graduates of these schools.
Cathy Binder October 27, 2012 at 02:39 PM
If you want to attract the best you may have to pay your teachers a living wage. Ask your elementary teachers what they make in a year, even with advanced degrees. You will be appalled. The Catholic Church needs to either support these schools financially or the tuition costs will go up. Private schools do benefit to some degree from public funding - transportation, nursing services, Intermediate unit services for special education etc. How do I know this - I attend public school board meetings and look at the budget that my tax dollars go to . I have no problem with this at all. But if you make the choice to attend a private or parochial school, then yes you may have to pay for that choice.


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