Catholic Diocese of Memphis announces Sunset for Jubilee Schools
St. Michael Catholic Schoolís Connection to Jubilee
The Jubilee Network consists of nine schools educating over 1,500 students from grades Pre-K to 12. Over the years, Jubilee has also provided significant funding each year to St. Michael Catholic School as a Jubilee Initiative School in order to provide quality education to children living in the St. Michaelís parish. This funding has been used to provide scholarship money for students to attend St. Michael Catholic School.
The challenge over the years has been funding the costs of operating the schools. Funding for the schools has been provided primarily through a trust funded by very generous donors plus annual fundraising. The trust is nearly depleted and the Catholic Diocese can only fund the schools through the 2018-19 school year. Without the Jubilee trust, St. Michael cannot remain open.
Charter School Group
A group committed to quality education has proposed opening new charter schools serving Jubilee schools and St. Michaelís geographic areas. These charter schools would open as a new system, separate and independent of the Catholic Diocese. Jubilee and St. Michael students enrolling in the new charter schools will maintain continuity in education with a strong foundation already in place. The charter group plans to file letters of intent with Shelby County Schools and the State on February 1 and applications on April 1 to operate a network of charter schools.
How will this work?
The Catholic Diocese and St. Michael Parish will continue to operate the school through the 2018-19 school year.
The new charter group will submit letters of intent by February 1 with Shelby County Schools and the State, which is the first step in the process to establish new charter schools
What does this mean for my child?
Children enrolled in St. Michael Catholic School next year will be able to apply for enrollment in the new charter schools for the following year.
What would be different?
The schools will be tuition-free since they would be public charter schools and no longer affiliated with the Diocese. As a charter school, religion would not be part of the curriculum. Religious education opportunities for students will remain available at St. Michael and parishes throughout the Catholic Diocese.
What about the principals and teachers?
Principals and teachers will be able to apply for leadership and teacher opportunities at the new charter schools.
What if I want my children to remain in a Catholic school?
Students will be able to apply for enrollment at any of the Catholic Diocesan schools.
Will my child still have a scholarship for another Catholic elementary or high school?
Jubilee scholarships and St. Michael parish financial aid will no longer be available after the 2018-19 school year. Families may apply for financial aid and scholarships offered by other parish schools and diocesan or private high schools.
The changes in the educational environment, along with increasing financial challenges for the Catholic Diocese, St. Michael Parish and the Jubilee Catholic Schools Network, have had a profound effect on continuing our mission. The Catholic Diocese was hopeful that proposed legislation allowing publicly funded opportunity scholarships (vouchers) would provide for the sustainability of Jubilee Catholic Schools and St. Michaelís. Unfortunately, this legislation did not pass.
What about next school year?
St. Michael will remain open through the 2018-2019 school year. Registration for the next school year will begin in February. We hope you will register your child for the 2018-2019 school year as we are looking forward to serving you and your child again next year.
What happens next?
Representatives from the Catholic Diocese will meet with parents, teachers and staff in the coming weeks to provide additional information. We will continue working with our school communities to do all we can to give the students the best opportunities and future we can.