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Saving Boston Catholic Schools

An article appearing in today's Boston Globe states that yesterday, Cardinal O'Malley and Mayor Menino announced the reconfiguration of several Boston Catholic schools. Seven local Catholic schools will be closed next fall and will be replaced by the Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy which will have five campuses in different neighborhoods.The Globe reports:

A group of businesspeople, led by retired adman Jack Connors Jr., has raised $25 million toward the $67 million they are pledging to spend to consolidate, renovate, upgrade, and, in one instance, rebuild aging parish school buildings in Dorchester and Mattapan.

"Change can be hard - it can make people nervous - but I think we are moving in the right direction, continuing to strengthen the neighborhoods of Dorchester," Menino said.

The archdiocese says it already has 1,370 applicants for the five campuses of the Catholic academy, an increase from 1,290 students at the seven parish schools in existence today. The archdiocese says that 250 of the students who have signed up are new to the Catholic schools.

Saving the Catholic schools has become a priority for O'Malley. There are now just 99 Catholic elementary schools in the archdiocese, down from 250 in 1965, and the archdiocese continues to close several failing schools each year.

It sounds like people are pretty excited about this new plan.