Catholic schools will open their doors to Los Angeles Unified School District students whose summer classes were canceled due to the budget crisis, Cardinal Roger Mahony announced Monday.
However, Catholic schools will charge tuition for courses normally free at LAUSD schools.
During a news conference at Our Lady of Loretta Catholic School, Mahony said, "LAUSD students would be most welcome to attend summer classes being offered at many of our Catholic secondary and elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Our schools stand ready to assist LAUSD students and their parents this summer."
The LAUSD is eliminating most summer school programs due to declining revenues and the state's budget deficit. The move -- which could affect more than 225,000 students -- is expected to save the district about $34 million.
Mahony said Catholic schools offer many of the same summer courses that would normally be provided by the LAUSD. He added the schools also offer programs to care for younger children.
The archdiocese's superintendent of schools, Pat Livingston, offered assurances that the summer courses would focus on academics, not catechism.
Catholic schools are expected to charge between $100 to $300 for summer classes that are normally free at LAUSD schools.
Mahony said the schools will try to negotiate easier payment terms with parents.
"While our schools charge tuition for summer classes -- we have budgets, too -- each of our schools will work individually with parents who many require assistance," Mahony said.
The LAUSD plans to continue offering only summer school at the high school level for "credit recovery," meaning graduation requirements, core classes and A-G classes. The Extended School Year Program for students with
disabilities will also be offered.
Last week, the United Teachers Los Angeles union announced it will give parents math, reading and literacy exercises to help their children with their studies.