By Mike DeNardo, Oren Liebermann

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The foundation that has been raising money for Philadelphia’s Catholic high schools will now be running them.

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The independent Faith in the Future foundation will be calling the shots at the 17 Philadelphia-area Catholic high schools and four special-education schools.  This is the group that raised money to spare four Catholic high schools slated for closure last winter (see related story).

The foundation will handle marketing, fundraising, and enrollment management, effective September 1st.

“What I hope this does is give a greater focus to our high schools and the special needs schools,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput.

The Faith in the Future Foundation has already increased enrollment at many schools cutting the school budget deficit in half since January.

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Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput calls it a “bold step.”

(Faith in the Future interim CEO Ed Hanway, left, and Archbishop Charles Chaput sign the agreement as St. Hubert students look on. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

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“This is the first-of-its-kind Catholic educational system in the United States,” Chaput said today,  “but also the largest independently managed system in the nation.”

Under the five-year arragement, principals would report to the Office of Catholic Education, which will report to the foundation.

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