Readers of the JCE are likely familiar with the enrollment crisis in K–12 Catholic schools in the United States. In 1965, 5.2 million children were enrolled in close to 13,000 Catholic schools. Today, 1.7 million children are enrolled in fewer than 6,000 schools (National Catholic Educational Association, 2022). The future does not look particularly promising. The reduction in the number of students due to lower fertility rates (National Center for Education Statistics, 2022) and a decline in the share of the adult population who are religiously affiliated (Smith, 2021) are sources of concerns. What might be done to stem the long-term decline in enrollment in Catholic schools while also strengthening the ability of the schools to fulfill their mission in a rapidly changing society? There are no easy answers, but the articles in this focus section suggest that a stronger emphasis on the role played by Catholic schools in instilling values may be a path forward.
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Wodon, Q. (2022). Beyond Academic Performance and Faith Formation: A Focus Section on Values and the Future of Catholic Schools in the United States. Journal of Catholic Education, 25 (1). Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/ce/vol25/iss1/7