Declining enrollment at Sonoma County’s Catholic and Christian schools

Bishop Vasa cites large increase in charter schools as reason
(The sharp decline in enrollment in Sonoma County's Christian schools is partly due to recession and the increase in charter schools and homeschool alternatives. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)

The sharp decline in enrollment in Sonoma County’s Christian schools is partly due to recession and the increase in charter schools and homeschool alternatives. (Beth Schlanker/The Press Democrat)

The following comes from a March 28 Sonoma News article by Robert Digitale:

School choice and financial recessions are cited as reasons for the sharp decline in enrollments among Sonoma County religious schools in the 21st Century.

Catholic schools have seen enrollments decline 28 percent this year from the 1999-2000 academic year, according to data from the California Department of Education. Total enrollment this year is 2,144 students.

Other religious schools, nearly all Protestant, experienced an even bigger drop, declining 62 percent in the same period. Those schools this year have a total enrollment of 1,203 students.

Santa Rosa Catholic Bishop Robert Vasa also cited the large increase in charter schools as a reason for the decline in religious school enrollments. He also said that the large majority of children in Catholic parishes today are Latino and their parents often lack the financial means to pay for private schools.

“If I had 1,000 scholarships available,” Vasa said, “I would have 1,000 Latino students” joining parish schools.

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  1. Some charter schools are excellent as are some traditional public schools; but, they are not Catholic schools! Research conducted by Father Andrew Greeley many years ago indicated that children who are graduates of Catholic schools are better prepared for college/university studies and for life! If parents only knew of the advantages of a Catholic education!

  2. What does current research say about relative quality of Catholic education? Is that perhaps national statement also true in Santa Rosa?
    I think the Bishop may have misspoke. Why limit beneficiaries of available scholarships to one ethnic group.

  3. Charter schools are owned and operated by private entities and paid with taxpayer funds.
    Parents are being hoodwinked. Check out this eye-opening link:

    http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/09/common-core-choice-charter-schoolsfor-desperately-uninformed/

  4. Anonymous says:

    “Declining enrollment at Sonoma County’s Catholic and Christian schools”
    …so…are you saying Catholic schools are not Christian?

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