Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I have questions regarding some of the financial information presented for my particular parish. Where can I get additional information?
A. The parish financial information presented at the Town Hall meetings was provided by the parish and by the Archdiocese. The Steering Committee recommends that you talk to your parish Finance Committee, Parish Council, and/or pastor for specific information regarding details of your particular parish's finances.
Q. Why is the reported net tuition revenue per pupil lower than what I pay for my child to attend my school?
A. The net tuition revenue per pupil is computed for each school as the sum of the amount of tuition paid directly by the parents divided by the number of students enrolled in the school. This net tuition revenue per pupil at any particular school is influenced (i.e. reduced) by several factors including 1) families with more than one student that get a tuition discount for the second, third, and fourth child; 2) families that receive grants from the Archdiocese or other sources that reduce the amount paid directly by the parents; and 3) teachers with children in school who receive free tuition as a benefit of their employment. Taking these factors into account makes the net tuition revenue per pupil lower than the advertised tuition cost.
Q. How does the corporate model provide significant financial benefits over the current parish school model?
A. The corporate model has significantly lower costs resulting from shared administration, more efficient class sizes, shared resources, shared professional development, economies of scale in purchasing power from common curriculum, and standardized tuition.
Q. How do school and parish fundraising activities factor into the percentage of offertory being used as subsidy to the schools?
A. All fundraisers and charitable contributions and grants that are earmarked directly for the school are applied first to close the deficit between the net tuition revenue and the operating expenses of the school. Any remaining deficit between school revenues and expenses must be closed by applying a parish subsidy taken from the general operating revenues of the parish, which includes investment income, or from parish reserves. The dollar amount of this subsidy divided by the parish general offertory revenue for the year represents the percentage of offertory used to subsidize the school.
Q. Why has the cost to educate per pupil increased so dramatically in recent years?
A. There are several factors including 1) declining enrollment, which lowers the student to teacher ratio and increases the cost per student; 2) increased healthcare costs; 3) inflation; 4) technology improvements; and 5) some schools have chosen to hire additional teachers to split classes or for resource teachers or other specialties.
Q. Why does a particular school have lower or higher tuition than the other schools?
A. In the traditional parish school model, each school sets their own tuition based on their particular parish/school financial situation and enrollment based on recommendations from their parish Finance Committee, Parish Council, and/or Advisory Board of Education.
Q. Where will the funds come from to subsidize the cost per student in a corporate model? Will the child's parish contribute or will the Archdiocese take that over or will all parishes subsidize all students equally?
A. Details of the workings of a corporate model must still be developed, but the idea would generally be that each parish subsidize the education of their school children. The corporate school operating entity would administer the school's finances and receive parish subsidies as income from each parish for their children. The Archdiocese would only play a supporting role as they do now with the traditional parish school model.
Q. Would transportation be considered if a corporate model is chosen and schools are consolidated or if a middle school is created?
A. Based on demographics, we are already operating regional schools and parents are getting their children to schools throughout the region. The goal is to create a viable and sustainable school construct moving forward. So transportation and other such logistical concerns will be considered in order to maintain and/or grow enrollment as long as they are not cost prohibitive.
Q. Why does it matter what percentage of our offertory goes to our school? Isn't the school the most important ministry in our parish?
A. The Catholic education of our youth is certainly one of our most important ministries if not the most important. But the school cannot be operated in such a manner that we ignore or sacrifice all the other ministries of the parish. We must be good stewards of all the parishes’ resources and get the most benefit from the hard-earned dollars being brought in and paid out. We must strive to be more efficient in the operation of our schools such that we can still educate our youth while also providing additional valuable ministries in our parishes. Examples of other such ministries might be youth ministry, outreach to college-aged and young adults, assistance to the elderly, adult faith formation, etc.
Q. Is tuition different for students who attend schools outside of the parish boundaries of their residence? Is tuition different for Catholics vs. non-Catholics?
A. Tuition is the same whether or not a student lives within their school’s parish boundaries or not. Four of the six Catholic schools represented on the Steering Committee charge the same tuition for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Two of the schools charge more for non-Catholics.
Q. When will the Steering Committee make its formal recommendations and when will the information be relayed to the public?
A. The goal of the Steering Committee is to make its formal recommendations to the pastors by the end of July 2018. The recommendations will then be made public sometime after that. It has not yet been determined how this information will be published, whether in print or via additional town hall meetings.
Q. When will the principals and teachers become involved in this process?
A. Principals are currently being consulted by the Steering Committee, and principals and teachers will become even more involved during the planning phase and implementation phase. This additional involvement will occur after the Steering Committee has made its formal recommendations to the pastors and after the pastors have decided how to move forward based on the recommendations.
Q. If schools consolidate or if a middle school is created, how will the athletic programs work?
A. Some schools have already begun to combine grades or combine schools in order to have a sufficient number of players to create sports teams. The Steering Committee is very confident that the parents and Athletic Associations will figure out a viable solution if schools consolidate or if a middle school is created.
Q. If schools consolidate or if a middle school is created, will additional programs be offered?
A. The goal is to create a high quality Catholic education that is viable and sustainable for the future. There is compelling evidence within the Archdiocese of significant cost savings via collaboration amongst area schools. Some of this cost savings could certainly be redirected toward additional programs.
Q. Shouldn’t we focus on increasing enrollment by reaching out to non-practicing Catholics and to non-Catholics?
A. Yes. However our ability to do that is currently limited based on available resources. By consolidating the efforts amongst the area schools, cost savings should be realized that will make more funds available for marketing and outreach programs.
Q. Under the corporate model, it was stated that the pastors would be freed up from school administrative duties and would be available for other ministries. Don’t we want the pastors involved in the schools, and shouldn’t the pastors have a presence in the schools to interact with the children?
A. Yes. Precisely. We want the pastors to have a presence in the schools and to interact with the children in a ministerial role for which they were ordained rather than in an administrative role concerned with only financial and personnel issues.
Q. Will preschools be included in consideration of any consolidation efforts under a corporate model?
A. Preschools would likely fall under the auspices of the single operating entity in a corporate model along with the K-8 grades.