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Minneapolis school, once closing the achievement gap, now closing its doors

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The San Miguel Middle School in Minneapolis, Minn., will close at the end of the school year, saying it was "a casualty of the recession." The school provides education to 60 students from low-income Latino families, according to an article by Minnesota Public Radio. It is part of the NativityMiguel network of schools and does not rely on tuition from students. Ben Murray is the school's president.

Murray helped found the school 11 years ago. For the first three years of its existence, Murray and the whole staff went without paychecks, and lived in communal church housing, just so they could launch a school they thought could improve a Latino graduation rate of only 40 percent in Minnesota.

"We have 92 percent of our students who graduated over last 4 years, are still in high school or progressing toward that high school graduation," Murray said. "Our rate of high school graduation fluctuates between about 78 percent and 90 percent."

Read our new blog series, La Iglesia Hispana, focusing on Hispanic Catholics, the church's new emerging majority.
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Murray said the school professionalized its staff and added a full-time staffer to check in weekly with San Miguel grads at 18 high schools and help them to graduate.

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