Exploring what could become an exciting new model for Catholic schools, the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) at the University of Notre Dame announced today a new partnership with the Diocese of Tucson and three Tucson catholic schools called Notre Dame ACE Academies (NDAA).
The really interesting parts of this model are two fold:
1. The partnership will take advantage of the Arizona scholarship tax credit programs, allowing greater access from low-income children to Catholic schools and therefore greater demand. This should do much to ameliorate the biggest challenge facing many Catholic schools today, financial burdens.
2. The partnership will take advantage of economies of scale by putting the schools together in a school cluster or consortium. This should allow better academic support, fund raising and marketing/recruiting capacity, and other efficiencies in administration.
“The NDAA model is oriented around the three pillars of ACE: educational excellence, the experience of community, and faith formation in the Catholic tradition.
By designating St. Ambrose, St. John the Evangelist, and Santa Cruz as NDAA schools, ACE and the diocese seek to achieve comprehensive excellence in these three schools by implementing a unique model of Catholic schooling.
ACE faculty and staff will work closely with NDAA schools and diocesan leaders to boost enrollment and enhance school leadership, curriculum, instruction, professional development, financial management, marketing and Catholic identity.”