The following comes from an October 5 Catholic Voice article by Albert C. Pacciorini:
The Diocese of Oakland is exploring options to sustain and grow Catholic schools, many of which are buffeted by financial and secular challenges.
At a meeting September 18, about 50 priests of the diocese heard a presentation on an alternative type of Catholic school that uses a public charter school as a core with a wrap-around Catholic school component.
“We have to make decisions going forward that Catholic schools are important to us,” said Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ. Some of our schools are struggling to survive on their own, he said.
Diocesan schools in aggregate are in the black, she said, but some are in financial trouble and need to be subsidized. Schools are judged on 17 metrics for health, and are color coded green, yellow and red.
Since 2011, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana has operated its Alliance for Catholic Education program in the diocese, providing 4-5 teachers each year.
The September 18 meeting considered Catalyst Schools, a new model public charter school with a wrap-around Catholic school. Charter schools are independent public schools established via a charter with the local school district.
The Oakland diocese is not alone. In the Diocese of San Jose, Drexel University is behind a network of Drexel Schools, and the Cristo Rey school model of the Society of Jesus operates in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
The Catalyst Schools, which operate in Chicago and are the concept of the La Salle Christian Brothers, are inspired by the principles of the Brothers’ founder, St. Jean Baptiste de La Salle. The schools are “a way, but not the only way,” to revive Catholic education, said Edmund Siderewicz, co-founder and vice president for Mission and External Relations, Catalyst Schools of Chicago.
The schools have grown, are financially viable and have a 90 percent high school graduation rate, Siderewicz said. Income from the rent of the school buildings to the public school district helps fund the Catholic education part of the program.
There’s a line between Church and state, he cautioned, “We make it as Catholic as we can make it.” Because they are state schools, they can’t have a Catholic school name, and there is no Catholic instruction during the state-financed instruction periods.
As a parent of 2 school-age Catholic children, I have opted not to use the Catholic schools available to me here in Southern California. The key reason is that your typical parish school does not teach orthodox Catholicism. This is a reason I think most of us faithful laypeople know, but most of our bishops do not. Second, the cost of Catholic schools is pretty hefty these days, too. Your average parochial school where I live will cost you $5-7,000 annually, and more for each additional child. Add, say, another $5 or 6,000 if your child is in high school. If you have an orthodox, affordable Catholic school nearby where you live, you are most fortunate. Otherwise, I think the best option is to homeschool or public school, and get a…
If you live in the San Diego area why don’t you look into St. Joseph’s Academy in San Marcos? Based on the concerns you mentioned, I think St. Joseph’s may be exactly what you are looking for. Peace
Catholic schools must remain Catholic. If that can’t really can’t happen, then close them.
This article doesn’t describe the program???
I don’t like this idea for Catholic students. But this sounds like a very interesting idea for the Church to run such a school for non-Catholic students at churches with schools that are no longer being used. The only thing missing is “the hook” needed to attract non-Catholic kids.
There is no hook for teaching non-Catholic students. As soon as something orthodox to the Faith is taught – they and their parents complain – loudly, clearly, and to the press.
All Catholic Schools must teach in accord with the Bible and the CCC – no exceptions.
Without a doubt, it might present problems. But if it can be done, it would be both a funding source for the parish and a way to cast the Church in a better light.
Wow! Just to teach history including the vital Catholic component of Cross and Crown, without which we would not be here today, downplay that inciting Enlightenment philosophy would be a start.
Kudos to the existing schools, prayers for many more.
If this has been successful in the politically hostile to the Catholic environment in Chicago – despite their huge numbers – it can be initiated anywhere that there is the will. A way can be found.
There is an adage among many in the Oakland Diocese: If you want your child to lose their faith, just send them to a Catholic school.
Catholics should be willing to financially support Catholic schools. If not (for whatever reason) they should be closed. Running to the government for subsidies is not the answer.
It looks like the Oakland Diocese has a Capital Campaign, “Reclaiming Christ’s Mission Together” to raise $65 million.
“Note from Bishop Barber
This $65 million campaign will enhance our ability to educate and form our children and young adults, provide increased pastoral and spiritual care, expand services for the “least of our brothers and sisters,” provide for our retired clergy, strengthen our parishes and improve the overall financial condition of our Church of the East Bay.”
The site shows the school tuition funding to top of the list
“Catholic Schools Tuition Endowment
$10 million to establish a new tuition assistance endowment fund…
but the FAQ page shows it grouped with others as a 4th priority.
1″1. s there a certain order for case element funding?
The Priest Advisory Committee recommended, and Bishop Barber approved, the following order for funding the case items utilizing unrestricted donations to the campaign :
all other case elements funded on a prorated basis related to the overall campaign goal.”
“The Diocese projects the campaign to cost approximately $4 million,”
Hopefully, these donation funds will aid the schools
$30 million of the Capital Campaign is for debt restructuring and reduction. It would appear that years of fiscal mismanagement can no longer be ignored.
thank you, former Bishop Cordileone.
Let’s be honest Anon. Bishop Cummins was there for 26 years and approved the Cathedral. Bishop Vigneron went with the program, waiting and praying 5 years plus to get out of Oakland. Bishop Cordileone was handed the mess and is the least culpable, serving just over three years.
Let’s be honest: Cordileone indebted the diocese of Oakland more than any of his predecessors. His 3 years in Oakland were a financial disaster.
In California SB-48 by State Senator Mark “Kiddie Porn King” Leno (D – Sodom by the Sea) makes mandatory that Public Schools Shall Not teach Anything that “Reflects Adversely” on the radical homosex agenda of Misandry – Hatred of Men & Boys, Masculinity & Normal Heterosexuality.
The law is Very Vague in its language, meaning Very Broad in its Net – and as with Kim Davis there is a distinct possibility of Jail Time 4 Thought Crime for any Catholic Teacher who uses the Catechism in class.
Sup with the devil or Caesar – and no spoon is long enough to escape their foulness.
The Oakland Cathedral looks very nice, although I have never actually entered it. However, I cannot but question the expense when local Catholic Schools lack even elementary playground equipment / jungle gyms. Would foregoing a few of the more decorative touches have provided this for a Lot of Catholic School Children?
BTW – ‘Kelly Educational Staffing’ used to supply Substitute Teachers – but have discontinued their service in Northern California and so far nothing organized seems to have taken its place in the Diocese.
If a Catholic School will not teach true Catholicism, then unfortunately the school should no longer exist. When the good and holy nuns stopped teaching, and wanted to do more secular work, they ceased being holy and good, and thus began the destruction of Catholic education.
Anonymous writes: “Let’s be honest: Cordileone indebted the diocese of Oakland more than any of his predecessors. His 3 years in Oakland were a financial disaster.”
You’re joking, right?
Abp. Cordileone inherited huge debts when he took over in Oakland: They’re still paying for the $175 million new cathedral and a 2005 loan of $56.4 million to pay for multiple sex-abuse settlements.
Your claim is simply not true. The sad financial shape of the diocese is not the archbishop’s fault.