"The Problem of Dwindling Urban Catholic Schools" from AEI
LAST MONTH, THE DIOCESE of Memphis announced it would cease operations of Jubilee Catholic Schools, a network serving more than 1,400 of the city’s disadvantaged students. Jubilee had become financially unsustainable. The diocese didn’t have the money to keep the schools afloat, and the low-income families they served couldn’t pay the tuition necessary to cover the gap.
Although many grieved the loss, those who follow urban Catholic schooling have become mostly inured to such stories. Inner-city Catholic schools have been closing for decades, a consequence of a combination of challenges including changing urban demographics; fewer priests, brothers and nuns; the competition from charter schools; and more.
But the news of Jubilee’s demise was especially poignant. This was not supposed to happen.