SAVING A NATIONAL TREASURE
Despite their well-established “brand name” and demonstrated success building the knowledge, skills, and character of children in America’s most underserved neighborhoods for more than a century, Catholic schools have seen enrollment plummet by more than 50 percent over the last four decades. Since 2006, more than 1,500 Catholic schools have been closed or consolidated, accelerating a school closure rate of about 1,000 per decade since 1960. Most of these were elementary schools in our inner cities, serving large numbers of Hispanic and African American children. If this trend continues over the next two decades, most of the remaining 3,000 urban Catholic schools will cease to exist, leaving over 900,000 children with few if any options beyond the failing public schools in their neighborhoods (and providing district schools with substantially less competition).
Declining enrollment and rising operating costs are the main causes for this extraordinary collapse of urban Catholic education—a character-building, Americanizing, opportunity-equalizing force.
Seton Education Partners is a national effort to strategically infuse creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, talented leadership, and public dollars to find a new way forward for urban Catholic education. If you also care about saving this national treasure, please join our community of supporters and prayer warriors.
Seton Education Partners is a national, 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded by lay Catholics and inspired by the life of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Seton was founded at the height of the Great Recession in 2009 by KIPP Foundation pioneer Scott W. Hamilton and Teach for America alumna Stephanie Saroki de García. With a focus on results, Seton is committed to ensuring that children in underserved communities develop the knowledge, skills, and character traits necessary to both earn a college degree and pursue lives of value, faith, and integrity.
Since our founding, Seton has pioneered and grown two initiatives and three programs in service of our mission. Learn more in What We Do.