(Louisville, Ky.) – The Catholic Education Foundation of Louisville (the “Foundation”) and the Archdiocese of Louisville today jointly announced that tuition assistance for Catholic elementary school families across central Kentucky reached new heights as the fall school term begins. This is the third year in which the two organizations have teamed up to provide more funding to help families who cannot afford the full cost of a Catholic elementary school.
Aggregate tuition assistance awards reached an all-time high $6.5 million, an increase of 12% over last year’s previous record of $5.8 million, while the number of students earning awards rose by 300 to a new high of 3,000 – an increase of 11% from the prior year record of 2,700.
Foundation President Richard A. Lechleiter remarked, “Thanks to the amazing generosity of our donors and the unwavering support of our funding partners, we provided tuition assistance awards to every single family who demonstrated a financial need – for the third year in a row! This astonishing result serves as a great testament to the power of Catholic education and our community’s recognition of its importance and its future. While we are early in our journey to provide solutions to Catholic school families, our entire community is truly embracing the excitement and opportunity behind our slogan, “The Answer is YES!”
Archbishop of Louisville Joseph E. Kurtz reflected with gratitude on the significant progress to improve access to Catholic education. “The selfless generosity of the faithful of all 110 Catholic parishes and their pastors across central Kentucky to support the education of our young people is so meaningful to the future of Christ’s Church. These parish communities will combine to provide over $1 million annually to ensure that a Catholic school is accessible to families who yearn for this gift but cannot afford it. I am deeply thankful that we can come together with our funding partners to create so much hope for so many families. We are blessed indeed!”
Under the Foundation’s leadership, a collaborative partnership among the schools, the Archdiocese of Louisville, School Choice Scholarships, Community Catholic Center and the Foundation itself was formed to combine resources and share data to determine the best possible award for each family who qualified for financial assistance. Mr. Lechleiter added, “In only our third year, this creative new way of allocating funds ensured that each family received a fair award and that more families were assisted than ever before. In many cases, each funding partner provided a portion of the funding that a family needed to make a Catholic education possible for their children. What could be better!”
The record $6.5 million of funding was provided by the Foundation ($3.2 million), parishes and schools ($1.7 million), the Archdiocese of Louisville ($1.3 million), and School Choice Scholarships and Community Catholic Center ($300,000).
The Foundation and the Archdiocese of Louisville had previously announced their joint goal to add 1,000 students to Catholic elementary schools in central Kentucky by the fall of 2019. Foundation Board Chair Thomas A. Wimsett commented, “Our plan to expand the Catholic school experience to those who cannot afford its full cost is working. In fact, we are now supporting more than double the number of students whom we assisted just three years ago. Through our message of growth, outreach and inclusion in Catholic schools, the Foundation and its funding partners are creating sustainable solutions for more families than ever before who strive to provide for this great gift for their children.”
The Archdiocese of Louisville sponsors 40 elementary schools with 13,500 students and nine high schools with 6,000 students across central Kentucky.
About the Catholic Education Foundation
For over 200 years, Catholic schools have contributed significantly to the social, spiritual and economic fabric of our community. The Catholic Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the growth and vitality of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Louisville. Since 1999, the Foundation has awarded over $29 million in support of Catholic education. Visit the Foundation at www.ceflou.org.