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Lost Classroom, Lost CommunityCatholic Schools' Importance in Urban America$
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Margaret F. Brinig and Nicole Stelle Garnett

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226122007

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226122144.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

The Vanishing Urban Catholic School

The Vanishing Urban Catholic School

(p.9) Chapter One The Vanishing Urban Catholic School
Lost Classroom, Lost Community

Margaret F. Brinig

Nicole Stelle Garnett

University of Chicago Press

This chapter provides an overview of the Catholic school system in the United States, beginning with the rise of parish parochial schools as response to nativism and anti-Catholic bias in early public schools, proceeding to discuss their exponential growth from the late-nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries and their contraction in response to suburbanization, and concluding with current trends, including declining enrollments and current school closures. Special attention is paid to the structure of the Catholic school system, to early debates about school funding, to the enactment of “Blaine Amendments” in state constitutions, the role of Catholic schools in urban neighborhoods, Catholic schools’ response to racial integration of parishes and neighborhoods, and their late-twentieth-century role as high-quality educational opportunities for disadvantaged students.

Keywords:   parish, parochial, Catholic school, Blaine amendments, nativism, disadvantaged, suburbanization

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