65aefad3af5ffd001eff55cf St Odilo

2 Catholic schools in suburbs of Chicago will close

Jan. 20, 2024
The schools were no longer financially viable after a tax credit scholarship program expired.

Two Catholic grade schools is the suburbs of Chicago will close later this year, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced.

The Chicago Tribune reports that St. Frances of Rome School in Cicero and St. Odilo School in Berwyn, two preK-8 schools wil be shuttered in the face of an “overwhelming financial cliff” after the loss of a state tax credit scholarship program for school choice.

School and church leaders said more than half of students at the schools rely on the program to attend. Between the two schools, 164 students attended through the tax credit scholarship program, Invest in Kids.

The program expired in November after state lawmakers adjourned without taking up a proposal to extend it.

Invest in Kids prompted debate. Supporters said the tax credit gave children in low-income families a shot at a better education, but opponents said it failed to adequately benefit those kids and chipped away at public education.

The Rev. Radek Jaszczuk, pastor of St. Frances of Rome School, said the loss of tax credit scholarships made the school unsupportable financially.

Across the archdiocese, 5,000 low-income families attend Catholic schools through the scholarship program, which provides more than $25 million in aid, the archdiocese said.


About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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