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1,267 Catholic schools have closed since 2000, and enrollment nationwide has dropped by 382,125 students, or 14% percent, according to the National Catholic Education Association. The problem is most apparent in inner cities. Catholic schools have been closing since their peak in the 1960s, when there were 12,893 schools with about 5.25 million students. Today, there are 7,378 schools with 2.27 million students. The decline in enrollment is accelerating, fueling further school closures. The recent economic downturn is being blamed for some of them, but dioceses’ huge payouts to settle sex abuse lawsuits could have played a role too.

(Christian Post 4/14/08)

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