Francis Cardinal George announced at a press conference held Friday morning that the Archdiocese of Chicago is setting aside $1 millon in tuition assistance funds for families who have been hit hard by the economic downturn.
The Archdiocese hopes the funds will help keep students in Catholic schools even if members of their families have lost jobs or are struggling financially.
When addressing the crowd of reporters, Francis Cardinal George stated a Catholic education is especially important during difficult times.
The funds are set to be raised through a partnership with the Big Shoulders Fund, a non-profit organization that has been raising money for Catholic school scholarships and other educational programs for inner-city students since 1986.
The Archdiocese also said it would close two more Catholic schools. St. Priscilla on Chicago's Northwest Side and St. Beatrice in Schiller Park will close in June.
The moves came at the end of Catholic Schools Week 2009, a yearly event during which Catholic schools across the nation address issues and themes surrounding Catholic education.