We are thrilled to announce that two Catholic schools in Cleveland with long records of serving their communities–St. Thomas Aquinas and Archbishop Lyke–will join our Partnership Schools network beginning July 1.
This announcement comes at the heels of two years of negotiation with the Diocese of Cleveland, but it was made possible only because of the leadership His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan showed seven years ago when he “cast into the deep” and put his faith in an unknown and untested model of Catholic school management. Now, thanks to that bold vision, our expansion to Cleveland will not only put our New York schools on a path to stronger and more enduring sustainability, but will also offer hope to struggling communities in Cleveland.
This news also comes at a critical moment for urban Catholic schools. Due in large part to the economic fallout of the COVID crisis, 58 Catholic schools have already announced that they won’t re-open again when the shutdown ends. More will follow, as schools that were already on the ropes face the dual challenges of adapting to the unknown and facing a wholesale drop in tuition revenue and enrollment.
Yet, as we know from our work in New York, while the challenges urban Catholic schools face are real, sector-wide collapse is far from inevitable. And we are proud to be at the forefront of a national effort to rethink the way urban Catholic schools are funded and managed. We hope the news of our expansion to Cleveland will be a catalyst for other diocesan leaders seeking innovative solutions at this time of crisis.