The Philadelphia School Partnership will announce Monday that it's giving the Faith in the Future Foundation a $600,000 planning grant to aid the eight Catholic high schools in the city.

The money will help the foundation develop strategies to increase enrollment at each of the those Catholic high schools and to design accountability systems that will help them collect and report data about their students' academic performance.

Catholic high schools in the city enroll about 6,200 students, but have room for nearly twice that number.

"We believe that Catholic schools are an integral part of the mix," Mark Gleason, the partnership's executive director, said Friday. "The Catholic high schools in the city have a strong record of sending graduates to college. . . . Ultimately, this investment is about helping the eight high schools to enroll more kids and prepare more kids for college."

Samuel Casey Carter, chief executive officer of the Faith in the Future Foundation, said the group was grateful for the partnership's support and its commitment to working with district, charter, and Catholic schools as it aims to increase the number of seats in high-performing city schools.

He said the foundation would use the grant as seed money to help it plan upgrades to its data-collection systems.

"If there is a monetary need we have right now," Carter said, "more than anything, it is for the system infrastructure to capture and report and celebrate our results."

The foundation will report the data publicly, he said, so that parents and others, including potential donors, can compare the performance of Catholic high schools with district and other schools.

The Faith in the Future Foundation was created last year to stabilize enrollment and finances at the 17 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In August, the independent foundation took over from the archdiocese the management of the Catholic high schools and three schools of special education.

The partnership, created in 2010, is trying to raise $100 million to create and expand high-quality schools in the city. It awards grants to support district, charter, and Catholic schools.

Contact Martha Woodall
at 215-854-2789 or martha.woodall@phillynews.com.