Catherine Holland, Senior Editor for Content Research
Without knowing the specifics of St. Thomas More Preparatory's situation, there are multiple factors affecting enrollment that Catholic schools have been contending with in many communities. Catholic school tuition has risen significantly over the past decade in both K-8 and high schools, in part due to the costs associated with shifting from a Church-based to a lay teaching staff. In addition, many Catholic schools are located in the same communities served by charters, and families may be choosing this public option over sending their children to a private, religious school. Finally, some Catholic schools, like many urban, public schools, are grappling with outdated infrastructure and technology. Taken together, these factors have contributed to the type of enrollment declines you noted.
Catholic schools are acutely aware of these pressures, and many of them are seeking effective solutions in order to continue to serve their communities. Interested families can often learn more by touring the school and meeting with its staff and administrators. It may also be helpful to speak to parishioners in the community to ask what they know about the school and how it is addressing its enrollment challenges.