WORCESTER -- The Board of Directors of Parents Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE) announced May 28 that it will cease operations and dissolve the corporation effective June 30, due to budget constraints which have come to play over recent years. The announcement was made by the president of PACE's Board of Trustees, Delma Josephson.
Over the past 22 years, PACE has assisted Catholic schools with accessing over $100 million of services via federal grants. Also, as a direct result of PACE's advocacy and working in collaboration with over 100 of its strategic partners, PACE has secured for Catholic schools early education vouchers and grants, school nursing services, school transportation, special education services, and home/school tutoring totaling over $500 million of services and funds, according to interim executive director Steve Perla. "These services and resources have been critical to serving the needs of many students in Catholic and other non-public schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," he said.
PACE was founded in 1994 by the Archdiocese of Boston and the Dioceses of Fall River, Springfield and Worcester to provide advocacy for Catholic school education on behalf of all the Catholic schools in the Commonwealth. It received funding from the four dioceses as well as requesting financial support from all the schools. Over the past few years, with declining enrollments and with fewer schools, there has been more pressure on the viability of the funding model. Dioceses have also been faced with trying to reduce spending as they face increased pressure from deficit budgets in their own operations.
"In the future, moving forward, PACE's Board recognizes that Catholic schools will need representation and a voice on Beacon Hill. We cannot give up having a voice on Beacon Hill for Catholic school students and their families," said Josephson.