California’s Catholic parochial schools — 700 of them serving close to 200,000 students — get little attention compared to the public schools. But they face many of the same challenges as the public school system does in coping with the pandemic.

This week Schools on the Frontlines host Carl Cohn talks with Paul Escala, superintendent of schools for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Its school system consists of 270 K-12 schools and an enrollment of 73,000 students. More than 90 percent of students of the 70 schools in the Diocese that receive Title 1 funds qualify for free and reduced-price meals. 

Carl brings a deep understanding of the challenges school districts face as they regroup and reopen in the fall. He has fifty years of service as a counselor, teacher, district superintendent, State Board of Education member, and executive director of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence. Among other boards, he is on the Education Standing Committee of the California Catholic Conference. 

This is the sixth in a special series of podcasts hosted by Carl Cohn and sponsored by EdSource and the Ball/Frost Group.