On Wednesday and Thursday, May 25 and 26, Steve Perla (Senior Director of ACE Consulting), John Schoenig (Director, Center for K-12 Educational Access) and Fr. Joe Corpora, C.S.C., (Director, University-School Partnerships), visited nine of our fifteen partner schools in Deanery #9 of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Sylvia Armas-Abad, Field Consultant in Los Angeles, scheduled the visits and accompanied us on each visit.
Father Joe wrote:
In each of the schools, we met with the School Principal and, in some instances, with the parish Pastor. There is a lot of good going on in these east LA schools. Students are learning and preparing to go to good high schools and eventually to college. The biggest challenge is enrollment. Each school could take between 30 and 150 more children.
Why are these schools not full when there are thousands of children everywhere? One reason is that the schools need to really come up with new and great marketing plans. In one parish the Pastor gave every one of the 250 public school children who made their First Holy Communion an envelope. Inside of the envelope was a voucher for a $1,500 reduction in tuition to attend the parish school starting in 2011-2012. How many children took him up on this very generous gift? One. We need to market our schools better.
The lack of enough financial aid is also an obstacle. At a dinner sponsored by the Catholic Education Foundation and the New America Alliance welcoming Archbishop José Gomez to the Archdiocese of Los Angles, in his speech, the Archbishop noted that that there is a waiting list of 10,000 students in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. They are waiting for more financial assistance. With more financial assistance they will be able to attend Catholic schools.
(Pictured: Rev. Joseph Corpora, C.S.C., (left) and Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles. Photo by John Dlugolecki.)