Financial problems are not limited to St. Anthony High School. Other Catholic high schools in the Southeast/Long Beach area report similar predicaments resulting from similar factors: dramatically increased costs, especially in the area of faculty salaries.
In an informal survey of seven area high schools, only two--St. John Bosco in Bellflower and St. Paul in Santa Fe Springs--said they did not have pressing financial difficulties.
Last April, in fact, the situation prompted Archbishop Roger Mahony to depart from tradition by publicly urging parochial schools in the Los Angeles archdiocese to start their own endowments. He also vowed to develop archdiocesan foundations worth $100 million to aid urban schools and urged the schools to create their own financial development programs, as well as make greater efforts to enlist the financial support of alumni and the corporate world.
As a result, many area schools are moving into uncharted areas of fund raising.
Urged to Pledge
Officials at Pius X High School in Downey, for instance, are planning the school's first walk- and jog-a-thon this year during which parents and members of the newly created alumni association will be urged to pledge support.
And St. Joseph High School, an all-girl's school in Lakewood, is in the early stages of developing its own long-range development program to bolster school finances.
"Times have changed drastically," said Sister Janet Duffy, the school's principal. "There are people who can't come to our school because they can't afford (the increasing tuition). We have several families we are helping, but we can't keep doing it unless we find some new money."
Fund-raising activities being discussed at St. Joseph, she said, include a phone-a-thon similar to the one taking place at St. Anthony.
"We're watching very carefully," Duffy said.