A member of the blue ribbon panel that recommended closing or merging about 50 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Eleanor Dezzi, says an online survey of parents and guardians found that they want Catholic education to be more affordable. “The number-one reason they said that they may not be able to continue with Catholic education was the rising tuition cost. It’s almost $6,000 for Catholics, and if you’re non-Catholic it’s $7,000. The parish pays a $1,000 subsidy for Catholic kids, so that’s a strong reach for a lot of people and, unfortunately, some just couldn’t do it.”
Dezzi is a West Catholic and Gwynedd-Mercy College graduate who served for about ten years on the Archdiocesan School Board. She says the closings and mergers will help contain costs. She says when North Catholic and Cardinal Dougherty were closed a couple of years ago 80 to 85 percent of the students stayed in the catholic system, and the Office of Catholic Education is holding meetings with pastors, principals and others to work out transfers of scholarships and all other issues related to the closings and mergers, and the education the children receive will continue. She appeared Monday on the WNPV talk program Comment Please by Univest.