Say goodbye to parish schools and hello to regionalization

When I was still on the beat, I wrote quite a few articles about the Archdiocese of New York’s plans to “regionalize” Catholic schools.

The idea was to end the old one parish/one school model and have all parishes — including those without their own school — take on administrative and financial responsibility¬† for the schools in their region. A lot of people hoped that this approach to running Catholic schools will give all parishes — all church-going Catholics, in fact — a stake in the future of Catholic education.

Something had to change, as all the school closings of recent years have shown.

After numerous delays, regionalization is happening. The archdiocese recently announced that all schools will be grouped into one of 10 regions — including Rockland, Central Westchester, and Northern Westchester/Putnam.

The Rockland group will be one of three that will begin operating next September. The others will take shape in the fall of 13.

Boards of trustees will be appointed to run each region, with clergy holding a majority on each board. ALL parishes will contribute financially to their region. There will be “a new parish assessment for schools based on a sliding scale,” according to Catholic New York.

Board members in the three model regions will receive training beginning in January. School principals will also be trained on how to work with the new boards.

Timothy McNiff, superintendent of schools for the archdiocese, said that Archbishop Dolan is on board. “He understands completely that what cannot happen is that we remain with the status quo,” McNiff told CNY.

 

 

 

 

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.