Cristo Rey: Working their way through school

The?Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger turns in?a nice column today (subscription required) on the Cristo Rey network of schools. There are now 24 such private, Catholic high schools scattered across the country, all serving low-income students for whom full tuition would be prohibitive or impossible. So the schools cover their costs by putting the students to work, one day a week each, in local companies which pay the school.

Fordham can attest to this model?we employ students from the Takoma Park (MD)?Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School, who work hard in our accounting area, helping pay bills, enter data, file papers, and more. It's more complicated than it sounds, and they handle it well?so well that we would be loathe to lose them. It makes me wonder if Cristo Rey has found a more sustainable funding model than traditional philanthropy?we've developed loyalty, and frankly over time we'd be more likely to add students than cut back. The flip side is each school's growth is limited by the local job market conditions, so?Flypaper readers in D.C. and Cristo Rey's?23 other locations, consider this a plug?supporting a team of students is both a good cause and a good business move.

?Eric Osberg

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