Catholic schools across the nation experienced a 3.8% enrollment bump during the 2021/22 school year, according to the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA).
This is the first nationwide enrollment increase for Catholic schools in two decades and the largest jump recorded in at least five decades.
In Western Washington, Catholic schools experienced a 6% enrollment increase for the 2021/22 school year—almost double the national increase. Kristin Moore, the Fulcrum-funded director of marketing and enrollment for the Office for Catholic Schools, attributed the enrollment bump to the resilience and adaptability of Catholic school administrators, teachers, and staff throughout the pandemic.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents were looking for alternatives and Catholic schools were delivering,” Kristin said. “Catholic schools are more agile when it comes to decision-making. When the pandemic hit, our principals weren’t waiting for someone to tell them what to do. They were looking at their resources and the needs of their communities and putting together a plan within 72 hours. I think that won a lot of people over.”
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle received Fulcrum funding during the pandemic through the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund (ERF), which disbursed over $4.6 million to 63 schools from August 2020-April 2021. The COVID-19 ERF allowed schools to pay for tuition assistance, cleaning supplies and PPE, and new technology such as additional laptops and smartboards.
Find out more about the Catholic school national enrollment increase at https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2022/02/15/catholic-school-enrollment-rebound-242401.