Dear PERCES Family,
This past year has been unlike any we have experienced in our lifetime. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, however, our Catholic schools have continued to operate and to provide an academically excellent, faith-filled education program to our children. This commitment to excellence in education has been the primary focus for staff, faculty, families, and students. With respect and consideration of others, daily routines were modified to maximize academic excellence, to keep our children focused on life in Christ, and to do it with the safety of all involved. What a tribute to our administrators, teachers and staff — and all of you our parents and families as well. Congratulations and thank you for all that you have accomplished.
The PERCES operating budget for the fiscal year 2021/22 was formally approved by the board at our meeting on March 30. Through careful management of short-term expenses and longer-term obligations, total operating expenses for the coming year have a planned decrease. The financial impact of the pandemic has had a significant impact on income for the current school year and moving into the coming year. As a whole, our diocesan parishes have been affected with declining offertory revenue which has resulted in reduced subsidies for our schools.
That being said, we are deeply grateful to the ongoing financial support from our parishes in the region and from the Diocese of Pittsburgh which is substantial. The region will remain cash positive through the end of this school year due to unforeseen donations, one-time educational grants, and PPP loans made possible from the federal government. It is our full expectation the PPP loans will be forgiven. These were wonderful blessings, but a budget cannot be built on the hopes of such gifts.
Against considerable challenges, fundraising has been a success this year. In most cases, the schools remain realistically optimistic that they will meet their objectives. For budgeting purposes, an increase in fundraising objectives for the coming year is not prudent given the uncertainty of the limitations which may remain due to the pandemic. The parishes within the region which are providing school subsidy directly from their offertory have been very generous in their commitment to elementary Catholic education. Their commitment and sacrifice for the elementary school ministry cannot be appreciated enough and we need to be deeply grateful to the pastors and parish communities for their support.
Bishop Zubik has assembled a blue-ribbon committee to relook at the policies that govern the financial support and subsidies for Catholic schools. Initial meetings have been scheduled. More information regarding the committee members and the initiatives of the committee will be shared as soon as possible. Any new plans that come from the committee’s work are not expected to be implemented until the next fiscal year at the earliest. But we can expect, as we see the decline in revenue at the parish level, that our parish subsidies will not increase but will hopefully stabilize for the future.
Our task as a board is to focus on long term financial viability and stability for the six schools in our East region. To responsibly balance the budget for the 2021/2022 school year, a tuition increase for our K-8 programs has been implemented. Notably, we have succeeded in providing equalized tuition rates in the two schools in the City of Pittsburgh and the four schools in our suburban areas. The Board recognizes the unique financial difficulties caused by the pandemic for parishes and schools and the investment made by families for each student. Above all, the region wants to make Catholic elementary schools available to as many students as possible that want to attend while ensuring an education of the highest value; faithfully, academically, and in service to others.
Although the initial deadline of March 15th has passed for applications for financial aid, anyone who is experiencing financial difficulties is still encouraged to apply for assistance through FACTS as soon as possible; the submission date has been extended. Aid determination is ongoing and the application is the gateway to diocesan, regional, and local scholarships. This past year, 42% of our regional student population received some sort of aid. Additionally, PERCES is working with our local parishes to offer additional aid through Angel Funds and other parish facilitated financial aid. Please contact your principal for more information. We are committed to getting assistance to any family who demonstrates a need.
Thank you for your continuing support of Catholic education. Our schools are a shining light in our communities and a critical part of the overall mission and ministry of the Church. Our students, faculty, staff, and families should move forward with great pride in what has been accomplished and with hopeful anticipation of what is to come.
May God bless you and your families!
Board President Very Rev. Kris D. Stubna, S.T.D. on behalf of the Pittsburgh-East Regional Catholic Elementary Schools, Inc.
2021 – 2022 Tuition Rates
|Holy Family||Sacred Heart||St. Bede||Divine Mercy||Mary of Nazareth||St. Therese|
|1 Child – Catholic||$4,600||$5,200||$5,200||$4,600||$4,600||$4,600|
|2 Children – Catholic||$7,400||$9,300||$9,300||$7,400||$7,400||$7,400|
|3+ Children – Catholic||$9,800||$12,000||$12,000||$9,800||$9,800||$9,800|
|Non-Catholic Per Student Rate||$6,250||$7,500||$7,500||$6,250||$6,250||$6,250|
Financial Aid is available in all of our schools. https://diopitt.org/affordable