NCEA Data Update

Diocese of Raleigh Catholic Schools

NCEA Data Update

Southeastern Catholic schools lead the nation in growth

Has your local Catholic school’s parking lot seemed more crowded this year? On February 8, the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) released the 2022-2023 Catholic Schools Data Brief highlighting the growth of Catholic schools across the nation. This annual statistical report includes data regarding enrollment, teacher retention, and number of schools opening or closing for the year.

Enrollment across the nation was up by 0.3%, reflecting national growth trend. In the Diocese of Raleigh, enrollment increased by 2.2% in the 2022-23 school year, signaling above-average growth in our diocesan schools.

Teacher retention in Catholic schools nationally was also a strength for Catholic schools, with a national retention rate of 82% for principals and 86% for teachers. In the Diocese of Raleigh, teacher retention was slightly higher at 88%, and principal retention was also higher at 89%.

Regionally, the Southeast leads enrollment increases. The NCEA publication states, “Matching the migration trends of the U.S. population, Catholic schools in the Southeast region now enroll more students than before the pandemic. The growth is driven by a 8.8% increase in enrollment in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.”

Across the nation, parental choice programs continue to benefit families through removing financial barriers to attending Catholic schools. In North Carolina, the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship offers families grants toward tuition and fees at non-public schools. In the 2021-22 school year, 901 students in the Diocese of Raleigh received this scholarship, with 1127 projected recipients for the 2022-23 school year.

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Raleigh continue to thrive, with no school closures. Across the nation, 44 Catholic schools closed or were consolidated. Research indicates that the loss of a Catholic school has a “profoundly negative impact on the surrounding neighborhood, including increased levels of crime and disorder, and suppressed levels of social cohesion” ( ). Ensuring the vitality of our Catholic schools, therefore, is also ensuring the vitality of their surrounding neighborhoods. Currently, the Diocese of Raleigh is partnering with Meitler for a feasibility study of a potential Catholic high school in the Durham area, reflecting the capacity for continued growth within our Diocese.

Reflecting on the continued growth of Catholic schools, Assistant Superintendent Dr. John Pendergrass said, “You can have faith in Catholic schools – by living out our faith through the community, and by having faith in their future.”

To learn more about Catholic schools in the Diocese of Raleigh, please visit .

To learn more about the NCEA, visit .