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Philadelphia Archdiocese to close or consolidate 49 schools

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Today the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that four high schools and 45 elementary schools will be closed or consolidated. The Archdiocese's Blue Ribbon Commission studied Catholic education in the area and released their report this afternoon at a press conference.

The Inquirer has a full list of the schools affected, including the closure of St. Hubert and West Catholic High Schools. Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said at the press conference that "we need an honest response to serious losses," according to the Inquirer's Kristen Graham.

Parochial schools in Philadelphia have suffered a 30 percent decline in enrollment over the past 10 years, according to the Inquirer. Philadelphia's public schools are also grappling with declining enrollment, as well as how to handle a stock of aging buildings. That inventory is what prompted the District to conduct its own study and create the facilities master planning process.

It's unclear how the closure of parochial schools may affect public schools or the Great Schools Compact. Under the compact, the District has expressed interest in supporting and replicating successful models of any school type: District, charter, or parochial.

Keep up with news and reaction to the announcement via #archschools on Twitter.

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