Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 22, 1966
NUMBER 20, PAGE 9c-10

Schools Are Expensive: So Catholics Close Them

Kenneth Hirshey

This is the conclusion of the administration of the Hannibal Catholic High School. The high school principal and administrator made the following comments for the Hannibal Courier-Post. "An evaluation of the school program indicated that maintaining the excellence of the school program for a limited number of students created staff problems as well as financial problems. Recent findings, on the national level, reveal that maintenance of a comprehensive high school is financially exorbitant."

That schools are expensive is the conclusion of the Holy Rosary High (Catholic) at Monroe City, Missouri. According to a news article, also published in the Hannibal paper, the lack of space for students and "additional reasons ... are the financial situation and the increasing demand by the state for accreditation, according to the board of the Holy Rosary Church."

The enrollment for the Hannibal school, 1965, was 139, for Holy Rosary, 95. Both schools closed their regular classes in May, 1966, and will not reopen this fall. It appears that the Catholics are finding that the money needed to operate their schools is becoming more difficult to obtain, and with mounting costs, the schools are becoming "financially exorbitant." Some of the brethren should take notice, as this religious group, with perhaps the largest parochial school system in the world, should be well qualified to speak from experience.

The "recent findings on the national level" are of some interest. Here are some figures obtained from the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1965. VALUE OF PRIVATE AND PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION:

Educational Chart Goes Here

Notice how the average national cost is mounting each passing year, and this trend is even more pronounced in smaller schools, such as most private and parochial institutions. In fact, per pupil costs are higher for small schools, and this fact is supported by a report entitled; Local Responsibility for Education in Small School Districts, 1961, by Edgar L. Morphet and John G. Ross. A part of that report contains the average cost per pupil, according to enrollment. (State of California.)

Enrollment Average Cost Per Pupil

Under 100 $992

100-199 712 200-399 556 400-599 598 600-999 514 1,000-2,999 501

3,000-over 481 State average 490

Small private and parochial schools are, not only financially inexpedient, they do not provide a child with the means of obtaining as good an education as do larger schools. Small schools have: (1) a small inexperienced, generally poorly qualified, staff of teachers, (2) fewer books, (3) a principal who teaches and directs extra-class activities, thus has less time to supervise, (4) small classes, (5) teachers teaching several subjects, resulting in overloaded work schedules, and (6) inadequate building and facilities.

It is no wonder that the Catholics are finding it necessary to close their schools, due to lack of adequate financing. It is no wonder the Catholics are finding the schools are "financially exorbitant" and not advisable. Some of our brethren, who seek to justify the support of schools and colleges from the church treasury, need to take heed. Will they see the inadvisability of such and cease to press for church support of the schools? Will they see that these schools cost much, but, at best, can provide only a second rate education for our children? Perhaps they will see these disadvantages, as they have not shown a desire to investigate to see if the scriptures authorize such. When the Baptists complained that their institutions were consuming too much money, brethren didn't take heed. Is it wishful thinking to suggest such in this case?

The liberal brethren have sought and will continue, I'm sure, to seek to justify their institutions on the grounds of expedients. The findings of the Catholics do not bear this out. The findings of research by men, such as quoted in this report, do not support this. Will they listen? For a thing to be expedient, classed as such, it must first be proven lawful (1 Con 6:12) and even if schools could be proven lawful (they can't) they cannot be termed an expedient. An expedient must edify, it must be advantageous, profitable, and advisable. The school does not edify the body of Christ: to the contrary, it tears down, not builds up. The school cannot be termed advantageous nor profitable, because it is not an advantage over larger public schools, which furnish better educational facilities. It is not profitable for the children who must attend, as they are provided with inferior training. The school is not advisable, as it is "financially exorbitant", and the Lord's money can be put to better use.

It is true that the local church is not free from an obligation in the field of education. The local church must have teachers, it must involve itself in the education of both members and non-members. (Eph. 4:11,12) This does not include supporting, from it's treasury, an organization which has not been proven lawful, and is not expedient. Advocating support of such is, surely, to be considered as an outright transgression of God's law. (2 John 9)

Elders are commanded: "take heed therefore unto yourselves" and "unto all the flock," and are told to "feed the church of God." (Acts 20:28) An unauthorized, unscriptural, organization, without expedient means, is not needed. Elders could well heed the words of the apostle Paul when he said to Timothy, "But watch thou in all things..." 2 Tim. 4:5.

-5007 Wyaconda Hannibal, Missouri 63401