Built To Last/New FADICA Publication Provides View of Catholic School Innovation

Dioceses Take More Dynamic Role in School Management/ Entrepreneurial Partnerships Showing Results

Washington, DC – – Catholic dioceses are showing remarkably positive results in saving their Catholic schools in a climate of tough economic times and increased competition for students.

This, a key finding of a just – published conference of grant makers convened earlier this year by FADICA to explore how new management configurations for Catholic schools are helping to beat the national trends of continuing closures.

The conference proceedings entitled Built to Last: Sustainable Partnerships for Catholic Schools of the Future, features nearly a dozen speakers; from Boston College’s President, to Catholic school superintendants of Bridgeport, Chicago, New York.

An archdiocesan financial expert from Atlanta shares with Catholic donor conferees how uniform and centralized financing of schools combined with a new Georgia state-wide tax credit program has meant robust economic health for Catholic schools there.

Bishop William E. Lori of the Bridgeport Diocese, explains how pastors have been key in school planning and new management partnerships with the Bridgeport diocese, thereby transforming the overall leadership and quality of Catholic education there.

Currently Bridgeport Catholic schools have won more U.S. Blue Ribbon honors than any diocese in the nation.

U.S. Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation, James Shelton, another conference speaker acknowledges the growing creativity within Catholic school systems and challenges philanthropists to see the present opportunity to work with networks of Catholic schools “to create the world’s preeminent innovation platform.”

“Significantly, archdioceses and dioceses are taking a more dynamic role in planning, school funding and bringing quality leadership to the schools, says Dr. Francis J. Butler, FADICA’s President in his introduction to the new publication, “while opening up more innovative and participative ways to govern and to finance them.” he adds.

Copies of Built to Last are available through FADICA (1350 Connecticut Ave NW #825, Washington DC 20036- tel 202-223-3550) at $12.95.