Skip to comments.Catholic Academy of Sussex County reinvents school district (Catholic Caucus)
Posted on 11/26/2012 9:37:04 AM PST by Coleus
Without a single campus, faculty or student body to its name, the 3-year-old partnership of Catholic schools thats flourishing in northwestern New Jersey can hardly be considered an academy. But even if its more virtual than physical, the Catholic Academy of Sussex County is having a huge impact on the governance and administration of education in that corner of the state, and could well serve as a model for other parochial school systems that face extinction.
Like many Catholic school districts, the one in Sussex County found itself in trouble. Two of its four elementary schools were in danger of closing, victims of declining enrollment and imploding finances. The bright light in this picture was Pope John XXIII Regional High School in Sparta, but even its administrators were alarmed at the diminishing enrollment of feeder schools.
Rather than succumb to closures, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, which runs the countys five parochial schools, opted for a dramatic change in management and governance. It created the Catholic Academy of Sussex County and gave it the authority to administer all five schools from a single business office. The diocese entrusted day-to-day operations to a four-member lay team of business and finance professionals.
A single budget is now prepared by the academy finance team, with input from the principals of each school. Responsibility for planning, marketing, fundraising and other administrative functions are vested at the academy level. Independent audits are conducted.
The clergy remains an integral part of this enterprise. Serving as director of the academy is Msgr. Kieran McHugh, the long-standing president of Pope John XXIII. And the parishes within the diocese continue to provide critical financial support and advocacy. A board of trustees, comprised of three pastors and 11 lay members who serve the school system and its 2,200
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.nj.com ...
I don't know whether a centralized group would help with things like buying texts in bulk to reduce the cost of home schooling but it might be some help. I do think a good many more parents would take the plunge and pull their kids out of public school if they felt like they had a backstop of some sort if they run into problems.
Im just thinking out loud about this, really, but it seems to me that Catholics home schooling their children could become as common as Catholics sending their children to the nearest Catholic school used to be. The Church providing the guidance and some core elements for parents who home school to build on would be a good step towards more people breaking free of the stranglehold public schools and hence "public morality" have on kids in this country.