Catholic Schools Face Obstacles

By: Tiffany Teasley Email
By: Tiffany Teasley Email

It was a time to say "thank you," at the Diocese of Lansing's Catholic Schools Week Mass.

"Also it's a time to thank parents for making the sacrifice to send their children to Catholic schools," said Bishop Earl Boyea.

A sacrifice Bishop Boyea says is getting harder and harder to come by.

"It's obviously becoming much more difficult economically to sustain the schools, that's the real problem," Bishop Boyea said.

"With rising expenses, and the cost of everything increasing, the cost of Catholic education is on the upswing," said Michael Diebold of the Diocese of Lansing.

The average cost of elementary or high school within the Diocese of Lansing ranges from about $1500 to $4000 a year, and Diocese officials say they've seen about a 3 percent enrollment decline in Lansing Catholic Schools from last school year to this one.

"In some of our communities we're seeing demographic shifts, and people moving out of the communities, we're having a decline in enrollment," Diebold said.

That's why the Diocese of Lansing and Catholic School officials are tapping into new resources to ease the burden on parents paying tuition.

"Right now we're examining some ways in which we might be able to find some support for tuition assistance, that's really what we're looking at right now," said Bishop Boyea.

"Bishop's doing everything he can to keep those costs constant, to find some way to assist parents in financing that education," Diebold said.

Catholic School principal Shannon Kahne says more and more parents are searching for ways to economize Catholic School education.

"There has been an increase, which obviously makes sense with the way the economy is, [our program], which benefits parents as well in helping them to a little more afford the tuition," Kahne said.


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