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Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeal Rules In Favor Of Christian Brothers High School In Sacramento

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento

Sacramento—The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled in favor of Christian Brothers High School and its former president, Lorcan Barnes, upholding a lower court’s decision that a former principal was a minister of the school, dismissing his discrimination claims.

Christian Brothers High School is pleased that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in its favor and upheld the U.S District Court decision.

Throughout the course of this legal process, there have been hurtful accusations leveled against the school and its leaders. We reject those accusations in the strongest possible terms.

CBHS is proud of its history of diversity and inclusion and has never made an employment decision, admissions decision, or financial aid decision based upon race.

As part of its core Lasallian mission, Christian Brothers welcomes and embraces students from a variety of ethnic, economic and spiritual backgrounds. According to the national, independent “Niche Rankings” lists of “Most Diverse Private High Schools,” Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento ranks number one locally and in the top 1% nationally based on ethnic, economic and cultural diversity.

Christian Brothers High School’s longtime commitment to inclusive community and respect for all persons is unwavering. This commitment extends to the school’s mission to serve low- and middle-income families. To the extent that funds are available, need-based tuition assistance is available to admitted students who qualify.

The school contracts with FACTS, a third-party company that specializes in evaluating a family’s ability to pay tuition based on a variety of factors including family size, income, net worth, number of children for whom the family pays tuition and other data. Our Tuition Assistance Committee reviews the FACTS applications for tuition assistance and determines the amount of assistance provided to each family based on the amount of tuition assistance funds available, the number of families who apply and each family’s recommended and stated needs.

During past 16 years, under the leadership of previous president Lorcan Barnes, the diversity of our student body increased by 17% and the school’s tuition assistance grew exponentially. When Lorcan Barnes arrived at CB, the school awarded $656,000 to 129 students. Today, CB leads the region in need-based tuition assistance providing $3 million to 450 deserving students (39% of the student body) just this year. This represents a 350% increase in annual dollar awards during the tenure of Lorcan Barnes.

Furthermore, 97% of our families that applied for tuition assistance were awarded support this year. This has been a consistent trend over the previous 16 years: 96% (2019-20), 93% (2018-19), 97% (2017-18), 98% (2016-17) and 98% (2015-16) respectively, just as an example. Thanks to strong leadership, careful stewardship and the generosity of many, the school provided an incredible $30.1 million in need-based tuition assistance over the course of that same 16 years.

Any notion that Christian Brothers allocates this remarkable amount of tuition assistance on a discriminatory or arbitrary basis is best addressed by simply looking at the results of the awards process. During the 2020-21 school year, African Americans, who are 7% of the student body and 10% of CB’s tuition assistance recipients, received 14% of all money allocated.

Latinos, who are 21% of the student body and 30% of CB’s tuition assistance recipients, received 31% of all money allocated. In contrast, Caucasians, who are 40% of the student body and 28% of tuition recipients, received 25% of all money allocated. Looking back over past years’ awards and data, the school’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion for all is unquestionable. Our process is structured to protect the privacy of our families’ personal financial information, but it has never been discriminatory.

Christian Brothers High School remains deeply committed to our cherished Lasallian Core Principles of faith in the presence of God, quality education, inclusive community, respect for all persons, concern for the poor and social justice. This includes our efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive student body, faculty, staff and administration.

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