Elizabeth Weise

What can parents and communities do to create socioeconomically integrated schools?

How is Catholic school enrollment changing in San Francisco?

A reader notes that one major shift in San Francisco’s educational scene over the past 20 or so years has been a massive demographic change in attendance at Catholic schools.

“The majority of private school students in SF used to attend relatively inexpensive parochial schools.  Catholic schools have been closing and consolidating in droves in the last decade or two as working class Catholics leave the city for less expensive housing,” the reader notes.

Some examples:

  • Mission Dolores merged with Megan Furth Academy (which itself was a consolidation of St. Dominic’s and Sacred Heart School.)
  • St. Emydius CLOSED
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton CLOSED
  • St. Paul’s of the Shipwreck CLOSED
  • St. Anthony’s, merged with Immaculate Conception.

Many of these schools also used to support 2 or 3 classes per grade only have 1 now.

So perhaps families who previously would have sent their kids to Catholic schools have either left the city or are going to public schools

Which means that families that are going to private school are actually an entirely different demographic than previous private school students. My guess is much more highly educated, more affluent and less likely to be long-time San Franciscans.
I find this disturbing because we’re creating a much more bifurcated school system. Wealthy, highly-educated families go to private schools, poor families go to public schools. The middle class, which is shrinking in San Francisco these days, are the ones who are stuck in the middle.
People decry the Manhattan-ization of San Francisco–well, this is exactly it. So what can we do to change it?
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Written by Elizabeth Weise

November 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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