The Archdiocese of Chicago is trying to reverse 40 years of declining enrollment in Catholic schools.
Attendance has dropped more than 70 percent since 1964. Eighteen Catholic schools shut their doors last year alone.
Schools Superintendent Nick Wolsonovich says rising tuition is driving students away.
"We want to make sure there are Catholic schools for all students, not only those who have more financial resources, but certainly for the poor," he says.
Wolsonovich says he hopes a proposed capital and endowment fund, and increased giving from the parishes, will take financial pressure off parents.
He adds that Catholics will continue to push the state Legislature to approve $3,500 vouchers that parents could use to pay for their kids' schools.