Are Catholic Schools Worth the Cost?

Dr. Ashton, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, and I are known for our impassioned conversations, and nothing gets our blood boiling quite like the subject of school tuition.

Yes, school tuition. While not the most obviously interesting topic, it leads us to much larger questions. For example, if I pay all of this money for my child to go to a Catholic School, what am I actually paying for? What is the real mission of Catholic Schools?

Mike has an ideal when he answers this question, but in my experience, there are many obstacles in the way of achieving any ideal. While I believe in the value of Catholic education, I also know its many headaches.

  • When it comes to tuition, parents lie to us. 
  • When it comes to finances, the bulk of the parish budget goes to running the school. 
  • When it comes to parents, we hear a lot of complaints about teachers and programs. 
  • When it comes to making disciples and living out Jesus’s Great Commission, we don’t often see it happening.
  • When it comes to families, we don’t often see them on Sunday.

With all these problems, is it really worth the cost to stay in the business of education?

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Fr. Jeff Lorig – Director of Pastoral Services

Jim Jansen – Director of the Office Evangelization and Catechesis


Dr. Mike Ashton – Superintendent of Catholic Schools

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

What the Supreme Court Needed to Hear About Catholic Institutions

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Declaration on Christian Education by Pope Paul VI

2 Responses to “Are Catholic Schools Worth the Cost?”

Comment: School tuition cost per student needs to be published so those who can pay the cost do pay it. Others are asked to commit to what they can according to the value they have for this education. The word, tuition needs to disappear. More emphasis needs to be on the why and value of catholic education.

As a church, we need to look more seriously at life. The value of physical life and the value of spiritual life is so off balance. We are fed usually three times a day physically. Our churches need to have Mass in them at least once a day and at the regular time. Like 7 am with the Dad or Grandpa making sure his family begins each day spiritually fed. Doesn’t the mother or grandmother primarily take care of physical nourishment of Gods children? Maybe all school children catholic and public could begin this way. (Catholic schools could get out an hour earlier!)

Sharing the total cost of education is such a powerful education for our families, but also our supporters and donors. The more people understand that the tuition rate is much lower than what it actually costs, the better perspective they have that they are only being asked to “pitch in,” not “purchase a service.”

Amen to beginning the day with Christ – mass, prayer, a devotion, reading scripture – many of our schools do just that, but I like your emphasis on coming together for liturgy.
Thank you for contributing your thoughts on this Mary!

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