Monday, January 26, 2009

Catholic Primary Education: Uncertain Future

Just this past Saturday, the Diocese of Trenton announced that three schools in northern Monmouth County would be closing in June of 2009. The Office of Catholic Schools had conducted a study and consultation of all of the Catholic grade schools in the Bayshore area of Monmouth County for the past few years. The decision, announced this weekend was that three Catholic grade schools would close: St. Joseph in Keyport, St. Ann in Keansburg (pictured here) and Holy Family in Hazlet.

The current stats on enrollment are very telling: in the three schools combined, there is a total of less than 400 students! Geographically, they are all less than 5 miles from each other.

This development is raising anxiety for Catholic educators in our area. We have 5 Catholic High Schools within Monmouth County. What does the closing of these primary schools mean for the future of our Catholic High Schools?

All good questions. School boards need to plan for the long-haul, and try to keep tuition minimal while exploring outside sources of funding for education. It is a time when we all need to start anew, seek new ways of funding and development, and try new ways of passing on the faith.

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