The COVID-19 crisis has led to widespread temporary school closures and a deep economic recession. School closures have threatened children’s ability to learn and later return to school well prepared. The impact of the economic recession is going to be even more devastating: first for students, but also for the ability of some Catholic schools to maintain their enrollment and remain sustainable financially in countries where they do not benefit from government support. This paper, the first in a set of two, looks at some of the likely impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on Catholic Schools in developed countries with a particular focus on the United States, a country not only hard hit by the crisis but also where Catholic schools are especially vulnerable to downturns. While Catholic schools may be able to respond to the immediate challenge of school closures among others through distance learning options, their ability to maintain enrollment during the economic downturn is less clear. How schools will respond to the twin challenges of ensuring learning during school closures and beyond, and remaining affordable for families at a time of economic stress, may affect whether they are able to maintain their comparative advantage. A key aim of the paper is to make Catholic school teachers and leaders aware of some of the discussions on how to respond to the crisis, and provide links to online resources that may be useful.
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Wodon, Q. (2020). COVID-19 Crisis, Impacts on Catholic Schools, and Potential Responses | Part 1: Developed Countries with Focus on the United States. Journal of Catholic Education. https://doi.org/10.15365/joce.2301022020