The financial impact of the Leadership Development Initiative on urban elementary schools in the Archdiocese of New York

John Justin O'Connor, Fordham University


This study examines a development training program in urban Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of New York. The study is designed to analyze how training Catholic school principals will assist in making schools self-sufficient and less dependent on a subsidy that is no longer available. The Leadership Development Initiative training program is the basis of that analysis. Phase 1 of the study consisted of survey research. Phase 2 of the study was qualitative, using an ethnographic evaluative approach. Purposeful sampling was employed to choose four schools that have a comprehensive development program, a significant reduction in deficit, and an increase in school population over a 6-year period. The research attempted to learn whether training provides inner-city Catholic schools with skills necessary to be self-sufficient. Phase 1 data report descriptive statistics through the use of tables, figures, and explanations of these. Analysis of variance and multiple regression analysis are used to analyze Phase 1 data with significance determined at the .05 level. The dependent variable is the amount of money raised per student. Phase 2 data are descriptive in focus and consist of narrative texts reporting relationships, patterns, or other themes that emerged. The conclusions support the contention that the crisis in urban Catholic elementary schools does not derive simply from a shortage of money but is a symptom of a deeper organizational crisis. Long-term growth in Catholic elementary schools is key to the survival of the Catholic school system. It is clear that the economics of the parish Catholic elementary school is a serious agenda item. The types of opportunities and funding available through development efforts suggest all levels of authority should encourage the process. As more studies on this topic are completed, the integral connection between finances and the role of the school board in Catholic schools will be very helpful to the exploration of development issues. Waiting for this to occur, however, is a mistake. A separate and distinct body of research on issues of development and fund raising is needed to guide Catholic schools as they prepare for their future.

Subject Area

School administration|Religious education|School finance

Recommended Citation

O'Connor, John Justin, "The financial impact of the Leadership Development Initiative on urban elementary schools in the Archdiocese of New York" (1998). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9923439.