From .......... Daily News Miner

Associated Press

September 4, 1996

page A-1


CHICAGOŅA good education can be hard to find in the crowded schools and gangpopulated streets of Gustavo Rodriguez's lower-income neighborhood on Chicago's southwest side.

That's why the 16-year-old is excited about becoming a member of the first class at a new private school, one that features innovative work-study and tuition payment plans.

"This is a great opportunity ... There's no way my parents could do it if they had to pay for the entire thing," Rodriguez said.

Christo Rey, a bilingual [Roman] Catholic high school, opens this month and will offer its 150 students work-study positions in entry level jobs at 30 area businesses and an opportunity to apply their earnings toward tuition.

"I'm going to be more into my classes if my hard-earned money is paying for them," Rodriguez said.

Officials from the National Catholic Education Association say the program is unlike any other being used by a Catholic institution in the United States.

"The most exciting thing is that private education is being made available to people who couldn't otherwise pay for it," said the Rev. John Foley, president of Christo Rey.

Rodriguez is one of six children, four of whom still live at ...............

See SCHOOL, Page A-9