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The Catholic School Advantage Campaign

The Campaign to Improve Educational Opportunities for Latino Children

On December 12, 2008 the University of Notre Dame commissioned the Notre Dame Task Force on the Participation of Latino Children and Families in Catholic Schools to explore the issues surrounding the Latino achievement gap, the Catholic school advantage, and the demographic imperative to improve educational opportunities for Hispanics. Ultimately, the work of the Task Force coalesced around a central motivating question: What can be done to narrow the achievement gap by extending the Catholic school advantage to more Latino children?

The goal of this Task Force, which reflects complementary desires to close the Latino achievement gap and to revitalize American Catholic schools, is to double the percentage of Latinos attending Catholic schools, from 3 percent to 6 percent, by 2020. Given population growth estimates, this goal means increasing the national enrollment of Latino children in Catholic schools from 290,000 to over 1 million students, thus greatly enhancing the quality of the lives of thousands—indeed, millions—of Latino families over the coming decades.

The Task Force Report, published on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, 2009, outlines a road-map for achieving this goal. The strategy outlined by the Task Force relies on a combination of developing demand, building capacity, and transforming institutions to fill empty seats, increase capacity in existing schools, re-open closed schools, and build new Catholic schools in areas that have been most affected by the growth of the Latino population.

Learn more about the Catholic School Advantage: The Campaign to Improve Educational Opportunities for Latino Children and Notre Dame's efforts to double the percentage of Latino children in Catholic Schools.