In the past there was a discussion regarding the demise of public schools and how other schools, such as catholic schools enrollment is increasing, did not think it was right.. but there was no verification of anything on the internet.. knew there was something going on with all those boarded up schools.. http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-04-09-catholic-schools_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip St. Joseph finds itself in a plight shared by hundreds of schools. As Pope Benedict XVI prepares to visit the USA next week, a report released today by a Washington education think tank finds that more than 1,300 Catholic schools, most of them in big cities, have closed since 1990. The report, by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, estimates that 300,000 students â€” twice as many as were displaced by Hurricane Katrina â€” have had to find other public, private or parochial schools. Fordham reports that the closings have cost taxpayers more than $20 billion as public schools absorbed many students "This has been a slow-moving disaster for going on 40 years," says Fordham vice president Mike Petrilli. He says the schools have long faced changing demographics as Catholics moved to suburbs and higher-paid lay teachers and administrators replaced nuns. Overall, Catholic school enrollment now stands at about 2.3 million, down from the peak of 5.2 million in the early 1960s. Karen Ristau, president of the National Catholic Education Association, says church leaders didn't respond quickly enough to the urban exodus of Catholics to suburbs and exurbs. "We didn't build schools fast enough." Where churches did build schools, "those schools have waiting lists."