The most encouraging trend lines for Catholic schools in America

Pre-K students at Nativity Catholic School in Hollywood, Fla. raised this butterfly through the egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult stage as part of a lesson on the life cycle of a butterfly. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Miami.

Catholic school enrollment in Florida grew more in the past year than in the previous 10 years combined, while Catholic school enrollment nationally held steady, according to the latest figures from the National Catholic Educational Association.

The longer-term trend lines now show Florida Catholic school enrollment up 9% over the past decade, while it’s down 14% nationally.

In light of the new data, we thought it appropriate to issue this brief update to our paper from August.

“Why Catholic Schools In Florida Are Growing: 5 Things To Know” took a closer look at Florida’s upward trends and the leading factors behind them.

Our new brief is meant to supplement that paper. We updated a handful of key charts and graphs using new data from the NCEA and the Florida Catholic Conference, including a year-by-year breakdown of Catholic school enrollment for all 50 states.

We also added a couple of new charts. One highlights the number of students using special needs scholarships in Florida Catholic schools. The other does the same for non-Catholic students. Both are on the rise.

As with the paper, we hope our brief can inspire and inform, and perhaps point to lessons from Florida that might be especially useful to Catholic education supporters in states with new choice programs. Challenges remain, but now the wind is at your back.

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BY Special to NextSteps

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