It is no surprise to anyone that a financial crisis has swept the entire globe over the last twelve months. However, many were shocked to find that St. Edward High School was hit quite hard over the summer. Just before the school year began, twenty students dropped from our ranks because their parents suddenly became unemployed. As a result, four more faculty/staff members became expendable and were laid off. In the first few weeks of school, rumors flew about the reasons and impact of the layoffs; mostly because of the loss of AP Computer Programming (there was no one to teach it).
First, the rumors are true, but one thing is clear: St. Edward will be here in the near future and long-term. The million-dollar question is, however, what will our school look like when the dust clears? From all the information I’ve received, there is no reason to push the panic button. Enrollment projections were just below the projected number of 850, but nowhere near as bad as it could have been. Unfortunately, we live in an area where some private schools are hovering at near death levels of 200 to 300 students. No matter how bad it seems, St. Edward is still a major player in the Northeast Ohio area.
I’m not a financial expert or a business major, but it seems that there are short-term fixes available to help us grind through. Some fundraisers might need to be cut in order not to strain the students, but that isn’t a major deal. If the situation doesn’t clear quickly, pay-to-pay athletics might have to become a reality. Some non-essential electives with sagging numbers might have to be dropped as well. At the very least, a spending freeze needs to occur. In the end, if the right choices are made, we will survive and remain in that elite category for years to come.