A recent news report highlights how Catholic Schools in Orange County, California, stepped up and met critical needs during the pandemic.

And the community noticed.
For the first time in decades, Catholic school enrollment is up, both in Southern California and across the country. [E]nrollment dropped to 1.6 million before the pandemic, resulting in empty desks and school closures. “There was real concern for the sustainability of Catholic schools, not only here but nationwide,” said Erin Barisano, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Orange.

When schools transitioned to remote learning during the pandemic, Catholic schools in Orange County were some of the first and only to be back in the classroom. “That was a game changer for us, when public school counterparts couldn’t open for in-person, the Catholic schools in Diocese of Orange, we opened Sept. 8, 2020, fully in person,” Barisano said.

As traditional public schools stayed inaccessible and left countless children with devastating learning loss and social damage, Catholic schools showed a better way. They showed that it was possible to keep students safe and learning, even in the most challenging times.

School choice helps ensure Catholic schools can keep operating and meeting needs for years to come. It gives parents choices when they need them most.

So that as many children as possible can attend, most schools offer steep tuition discounts. They regularly operate at a financial loss. But many parents still cannot afford the cost of tuition. That’s why school choice is needed so urgently.


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