FEDERAL DOLLARS PROGRAM
It is believed that hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal funds, specifically designated for use by non-public schools under the current No Child Left Behind legislation, are not being accessed by Catholic schools. The Federal Dollars Program will: Determine the current level of Catholic school participation in NCLB programs; determine the potential amount of unused funds designated under NCLB for nonpublic schools; oversee efforts to access unused federal funds; and build diocesan-level capacity to identify, secure and leverage federal benefits.
The rising cost of services and supplies has contributed in part to the increase in tuition at Catholic schools. The Consortium will leverage its power as a collective enterprise on the part of the six dioceses to secure high-quality, cost-efficient services and supplies. The group will: Identify procurement opportunities which leverage the shared buying power; evaluate proposals for volume purchases of goods and services; negotiate best terms and conditions; implement pilot programs; and develop capacity to offer “back office” services.
Catholic schools in the Mid-Atlantic region education more than 120,000 students and save more taxpayers more than $1.14 billion annually. Yet students and teachers in Catholic schools do not always receive the same benefits and support as those in public schools. The Consortium will support initiatives at the state and federal levels to ensure school choice, teacher benefits, and access to No Child Left Behind funds. The group will develop materials and training; secure the support of community leaders; promote the value of Catholic schools; and collaborate with other non-public school colleagues.
Catholic schools are most successful when governance structures appropriate to each school and diocese are in place. The Consortium will: Examine existing governing structures; clarify and strengthen lines of responsibility and accountability; increase transparency; and ensure effectiveness of all governance models.
Catholic schools have a long tradition of providing high-quality, values-based education to lower- and middle-income families. They have often served as bulwarks in inner-city neighborhoods and the best source of educational hope for children who may otherwise have none. Yet tuition has risen dramatically in the last several decades, often making it difficult for lower- and middle-income families to choose Catholic schools for their children. It is the Consortium’s mission to ensure that Catholic schools are accessible and affordable to all Catholic families. It will work to do that through: The analysis of current funding models; the development new funding models, including consideration of cost-based tuition; research on future demographic trends; planning for new facilities expenditures; and investigating expanded funding streams.
Catholic schools, like any other organization, need strong, effective leadership from pastors, principals and teachers if they are to succeed. The Consortium is developing a Leadership Initiative to provide the most productive and comprehensive training available so that all involved in Catholic schools administration will have the tools to competently handle challenges which arise in individual schools and dioceses. Goals of the Leaderships Initiative include: Contemporary executive leadership development and coaching for the superintendents; leadership development for pastors and principals to build strong school-level leadership teams; the determination of future leadership efforts; and a change in management skills and strategies.
The success of the Consortium’s efforts depends on the vitality of the Consortium itself. With that in mind, the group will: Complete all initial strategic priorities; identify and secure financial resources to support priorities and operations; and evaluate and expand participation to meet the leadership needs of the Consortium.