Archdiocese of New York will let nonprofit run six struggling Catholic schools

From the NY Daily News:
In an unprecedented move, the Archdiocese of New York is trying to save six cash-strapped elementary schools by allowing an outside organization to run them.
The Partnership for Inner-City Education — which has a history of working with city Catholic schools — is contracting with the archdiocese to manage the finances and oversee the academic curriculums of the schools in the Bronx and Harlem starting this fall.
“We want to have full enrollment and sustainability for the very long term,” said Jill Kafka, executive director of the nonprofit. “We’re really looking to have these schools alive for a long time.”
It’s the first time that an independent group will take control of New York City parochial schools, with power to oversee the hiring and firing of teachers and staff. The terms of the current teachers’ union contract still stand, officials said.
The article says that the Archdiocese will maintain control of the religious education program.

I don’t know what the state of the schools are (i.e., how genuinely “Catholic” they are), but it seems to me if you end up having teachers being hired/fired by a non-Catholic agency…except Religious Ed., of course, then you will have the kids being told one thing in Rel. Ed. classes and have them potentially taught the exact opposite in all their other classes.

Hope this works for the Archny, but it gives me serious pause…

I hope there are clauses in the teacher contract re: moral issues and openly defying the faith. The problem is, there doesn’t seem to be a way to hold the teachers accountable to these clauses, if the diocese has no supervisory authority over the schools. I agree that this arrangement could be very problematic in the Catholic formation of the students.

This is an endowment group which means they could have any philosophy. Wasn’t it Facebook that gave a large grant to New Jersey for low income education?

Also, we’ve seen this before when the state took over the Canadian catholic schools by funding. How is that working out? They have allowed Muslim prayer rooms and students to leave class to pray in them. They barely have any religious philosophy left.

The Archdiocese will maintain control of religious education. Well, there is a concession. If the Church thinks they will maintain their power, simply foolishness.

I think some of this depends on the principal of each school in terms of the screening that is part of the hiring process. When I worked in Jewish yeshivas, a few non-Jewish teachers were hired to teach non-religious, secular subjects, but I’m sure the principal was careful since she screened everyone who was not an Orthodox Jew, including me.

Originally posted by** meltzerboy**
I think some of this depends on the principal of each school in terms of the screening that is part of the hiring process. When I worked in Jewish yeshivas, a few non-Jewish teachers were hired to teach non-religious, secular subjects, but I’m sure the principal was careful since she screened everyone who was not an Orthodox Jew, including me.

The article doesn’t say that the school(principal) will screen but…

It’s the first time that an independent group will take control of New York City parochial schools, with power to oversee the hiring and firing of teachers and staff.

The principal of each school will be an employee of that nonprofit, not of the archdiocese.

I think the question really is when does a religious school become secular? Would it be appropriate to call it a yeshivas if there was only one class on the Talmud and Torah, but then had Friday pig roast? In other word I would assume there is a big difference between a yeshivas and a secular school that offered Hebrew classes. (sorry if I use any terms incorrectly)

I don’t know about Jewish schools, but Catholic schools are supposed to integrate Catholic beliefs throughout the kids’ education. Would Jewish parents be weary of sending their kids to a yeshivas ran by Jesuit priests or an atheist?

Even if this non-profit is running the day-to-day operations, that doesn’t mean they aren’t also subject to diocesan oversight. It’s not as though they’re going to bring in a bunch of atheist teachers and the archdiocese will not be able to do anything about it.

I’m sure there’s a lot more going on in the details of the arrangement than the article speaks about.

In any case, it seems to me that Cardinal Dolan is trying to save these schools rather than close them and so he is trying out a new approach. Sure, there needs to be some caution about how to go about this, but I’m sure he’s going in with both eyes open. I pray it works out for those schools.

Well they are already seeking help - Here is one Employment Position

bridgespan.org/Nonprofit_Jobs/Position_Details.aspx?jobId=9116

The Partnership for Inner-City Education is seeking an outstanding professional with a proven track record in fundraising and communications and a commitment to education to become its first Director of Development and Communications (“Director”). Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Development and Communications will design and lead a comprehensive fundraising, marketing and communications strategy for the Partnership and its six schools…

… including foundation and corporate fundraising, major gift solicitation, grant writing, direct mail campaigns, and special events, as well as the management of all marketing, branding, communications, public/media relations, and online/digital media.

Is the group, Partnerhip for Inner-City Education, transparent and will they give out a list of their donors(just wondering about Ford Foundation)?

What is wrong with a Muslim student leaving class to pray? Would you rather the Canadian government force them to remain in class in violate there conscious?

I taught temporarily in a Jewish day school. Naturally I taught secular subjects, but I made it clear that I knew a lot about the faith, as well as customs/holidays and protocol. They wanted to be sure that I respected the school culture as what dominates there, and in fact I did that.

However, I think their screening was better than what I’ve seen to be screening in a diocese or even parish, for teachers in Catholic schools. Personally, I would not send my own child to any Catholic school until I ascertained the guidelines for that screening.

In a *Catholic *school…

More importantly than being forced to allow that, tho, was the insistence of the provicial government that the Catholic schools allow “gay” student organizations, etc.

There was just a very long thread discussing this.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=808586

Post #119

"The controversy began Jan. 15 when teacher Lori Maragno
hushed Kayla for saying, “God is good. God is great. Thank
you, God, for my food.” Kayla had invited three of her 19
classmates who shared a table with her to join hands as she
said grace before they ate their snacks of cupcakes and
milk…

part of my response…
A child sitting and mumbling a prayer at lunch is not the same as forming a gathering by group identity to pray. Remember, even after the lawsuit, this 5 year was told to pray quietly and not to invite others to pray.

Muslim students are allowed to get up during class time, disrupt each class, leave the room to go together to pray.

Canada requires that Catholic schools install prayer rooms for muslim to leave class and pray in.

originally posted by runningdude

What is wrong with a Muslim student leaving class to pray? Would you rather the Canadian government force them to remain in class in violate there conscious?

I question whether this is constitutional in the U.S. in the public schools because of the Madalyn Murray O’Hare - separation of church and state - Supreme court law, Murray v Curlett.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abington_School_District_v._Schempp.

No I would rather all students be sent home early.

In cases of catholic schools that are no longer viable on their own financially, I wonder if you couldn’t do something like this:

  1. Close the school.
  2. Reorganize and open a secular charter school on the site.
  3. Charge the charter school rent to cover maintenance costs and provide income for the troubled parish.
  4. The charter school gets taxpayer money, but can only provide a secular education.
  5. Stipulate in the lease permission for the parish to run before and after school care that includes religious instruction / education (optional, of course).

Presto. A private school free of most public school union entanglements, but where taxpayers get the education for their kids that they paid for and can form a subculture within the school via after-school care / CCD that builds catholic identity. Not remotely as good as a real catholic school, but perhaps better than closing down entirely. Ends up as a net positive cash flow for the parish instead of the ongoing money pit that a closed school poses.

originally posted by** manuelman**
5. Stipulate in the lease permission for the parish to run before and after school care that includes religious instruction / education (optional, of course).

How about all the children who do not attend before or after school care but go directly home to their parents?

Well in most states, you can’t force charter school kids funded by taxpayer money to participate in religious instruction. I think that’s dumb policy/law, but it is what it is. This is the next best thing. Have the school day end at 2:30 and go right into the optional religious ed afterwards. Even if you’re a stay home mom, that’s a pretty good arrangement.

originally posted by manualman
Well in most states, you can’t force charter school kids funded by taxpayer money to participate in religious instruction. I think that’s dumb policy/law, but it is what it is. This is the next best thing. Have the school day end at 2:30 and go right into the optional religious ed afterwards. Even if you’re a stay home mom, that’s a pretty good arrangement.

This could work if the students attended the after school each day, probably have more trouble as students got older and **would lose them in junior high.
**
What they have tried to do in Canada is not working and their schools have become pretty generic. As a higher muslim population come into their schools, they will see more problems.
As mentioned prior, they must be inclusive adding gay clubs.

In this case, it is being privately funded but the source of the funded probably is controversial. These Foundations give money but it usually comes with a string.

To be honest I don’t think that would matter to the parents from a religious standpoint. I have seen statistics over the years that say anywhere for 20-70+% of students in poorer NYC Catholic schools aren’t Catholic.

originally posted by** Usige**
To be honest I don’t think that would matter to the parents from a religious standpoint. I have seen statistics over the years that say anywhere for 20-70+% of students in poorer NYC Catholic schools aren’t Catholic.

If the students aren’t Catholic what are we doing there to begin with. That is up to the state and public education, which we fund. If a smaller percent, say 20% are non-Catholic and the rest are Catholic, then maybe OK but if these school can’t even give this ratio, why bother.

There are so many really good Catholic families who can’t even afford to send their children to Catholic schools.

Maybe that is selfish but shouldn’t the Church be focused on the Catholic population first and trying to help those parents.:shrug:

They’re there because they want a quality education, which in some poorer parts of the city, you can’t get.

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