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Archdiocese aims to add students, raise money for tuition aid

Updated: March 21, 2013 7:31PM

The Archdiocese of Chicago’s school board unveiled a three-year strategic plan for the Catholic schools on Thursday, including goals such as launching a fund-raising campaign and increasing the number of students in Catholic schools.

Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, superintendant of schools for the archdiocese, said the analysis that led to the plan started almost three years ago.

“Every good organization has to have a plan, and there’s absolutely so much opportunity to grow our Catholic schools to get more kids in the schools. And we’d already had some of a framework around that,” McCaughey said. “This brought the board together with a ton of expertise . . . to say how do we make this realistic.”

The archdiocese is facing a deficit, which caused the layoff of 60 pastoral center employees earlier this month, and that deficit factored into the goals for the Catholic schools, McCaughey said.

The plan lays out six goals. Starting a fund-raising campaign to create scholarships for families that need assistance with tuition. McCaughey did not disclose how much money they are looking to raise. An amount will be announced in June, she said.

The plan also calls for using new national common-core standards and working with struggling schools to keep them open and financially viable.

The strategic plan makes no mention of a increasing tuition or closing schools.

The archdiocese serves 85,000 students in 250 schools. Earlier, it closed five schools, as part of cuts needed because of the archdiocese’s deficit.

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