Notre Dame's Takeaways

As expected, the conference’s dialogue featured a divergence of views – and robust debate – on the future of the urban faith-based school sector. Ultimately, the group was able to come to consensus on a core set of recommendations for developing systemic financing options for this vital educational enterprise.
As articulated by several of the conference participants, any such strategy must be animated by single theme: in order to affect meaningful reform of urban faith-based schooling, we must fundamentally re-orient our thinking about how these schools should be financed; furthermore, we must be willing to take radical and unprecedented steps to reinvent and reposition them in the education sector.
Such perspective is the sine qua non to any meaningful success in cultivating sustainable funding streams, designing streamlined cost structures, and developing innovative and collaborative school networks. The fundamental question to which we must continually return in this effort is how can the Catholic Church and other faith traditions invested in K-12 education best continue to respond to the educational needs of the poor in a manner most consistent with their respective faith traditions and religious identity?
With these principles in mind, the group advanced the following four recommendations:
Develop Investment-Oriented Strategies for Partnering with Private Philanthropic Institutions
Systematically Promote Instruments of Policy that Expand Parental Choice for Low-Income Families
Sponsor Innovative Schooling and School Governance Models

Examine Non-Traditional Financing Options and Research Public/Private Opportunities