Identification, Description, and Perceived Viability of K—12 Consolidated Catholic School Systems
Catholic education has been in a state of substantial decline since 1965. In order to help sustain the ministry of Catholic schools, one approach that several dozen dioceses have embraced is the K–12 consolidated Catholic school system. This study investigated the organizational structures within consolidated school systems, factors that led to consolidation, and variables that predict perceived viability of the consolidated model. Quantitative and qualitative data analyses were employed using both school system data and individual responses as units of analyses. This study shows that the K–12 consolidated Catholic school system can be a viable model that allows for greater collaboration among elementary and high schools, financial efficiencies through shared staffing and building closures, and reductions of high parish subsidy. This study also shows that while the model may help Catholic schools remain open, the separation from the parish leads to a lack of parish ownership of the school, a sense of competition between the school system and the supporting parishes, and unknown roles and accountability of the new school system.
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