The Archdiocese of Philadelphia plans to shutter about a quarter of its Roman Catholic high schools and close or combine nearly 30 percent of its elementary schools mainly because of rising costs and low enrollment, officials say.
The moves will displace almost 24,000 students and leave the region with four fewer high schools and 44 fewer elementary schools at the beginning of the next academic year.
The system’s current enrollment of 68,000 students is the same number the archdiocese served in 1911. It also represents a 35 percent drop in the student population since 2001.
Nationwide, Catholic schools have lost more than 587,000 students since 2000, according to the National Catholic Education Association. At least 1,750 schools have closed.
A version of this article appeared in the January 18, 2012 edition of Education Week as Phila. Catholic Schools to Close, Reorganize