Southeastern PA

Archdiocese to close, reorganize 48 Catholic schools

Archdiocese to close, reorganize 48 Catholic schools

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Philadelphia Archdiocese announced plans Friday to close or consolidate 48 Roman Catholic schools due to rising costs and low enrollment.

The list is made up of four high schools that will close and 44 elementary schools that will either close or be partnered with other schools.

The high schools were identified as Monsignor Bonner - Archbishop Prendergast High School in Drexel Hill, Delaware Co., Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in Fairless Hills, Bucks Co., Saint Hubert Catholic High School for Girls in Philadelphia, and West Philadelphia Catholic High School.

St. Philip Neri School in East Greenville, Montgomery Co., near the border with Berks County, is on the list to be closed and consolidated with St. Isidore in Quakertown, Bucks Co.

The reorganization is the result of a yearlong analysis of the struggling Catholic school system that serves the city and four suburban counties.

"The content of the report is challenging – especially, and in a very personal way, for many of our families and students," said Archbishop Chaput. "But we can no longer avoid dealing with enrollment and financial realities that have been building in our schools for many years."

The archdiocese has 178 schools in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. They serve about 68,000 students, which represents a 35 percent drop in enrollment since 2001.

The schools have suffered for years from rising costs and dwindling enrollment. Higher tuition, shifting demographics and the rise of charter schools have siphoned off many students.

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