NEW YORK (AP) — Enrollment in Roman Catholic schools in the United States has dropped more than 6% from the previous academic year amid the pandemic and economic stresses.
Catholic education officials say that's the largest single-year decline in at least five decades. One key factor is the difficulty for many parents of paying tuition fees averaging more than $5,000 for grades K-8 and over $10,000 for secondary schools.
Nationwide enrollment has fallen by 110,000 students from the 2019-2020 school year to about 1.6 million. In the 1960s, that figure was more than 5 million. In addition, more than 200 Catholic schools were permanently closed last year.