CUES was formed in 1975 as a reaction to changes in the Sacred Heart School neighborhood. As more and more Sacred Heart parishioners left their north Omaha neighborhood, the parish could no longer provide significant financial support to the school. Community business leaders came together and formed CUES, a separate 501c3, to solicit support from corporations and foundations to assist Sacred Heart School.
In 2012, the CUES Board addressed a community need once again, and responded to support other inner-city parish schools facing closure, adding All Saints and Holy Name Schools to the CUES funding mission.
In 2018, CUES became two separate organizations: CUES School System and the CUES Fund.
For many Catholic schools, the older parish school model of governance is no longer effective. During a strategic planning process in 2017, the CUES Board of Directors recognized the need to become sustainable and to provide the best academic outcomes for CUES students. It was determined that CUES would take a more proactive approach to serving its mission and become two distinct organizations. The plan called for the creation of a new, separate governing organization. There is now the CUES School System, a religious 501c3, responsible for governing the 3 schools, and the CUES Fund, a non-religious 501c3, with the sole purpose of fully funding the school system. These changes were made with the full support of the Archdiocese of Omaha.
CUES is now among the most unique education models in the country with one “arm” responsible for governing and the other responsible for funding. Both arms are accountable to separate and distinct boards, and each board is comprised of professionals with talents specifically related to either governing or funding.
By establishing new school governance, and by separating the fundraising efforts from school management duties, the CUES organization has more accountability and greater efficiency, particularly with respect to financial management. The governance for CUES schools allows CUES to maximize the talents of various lay people by placing them in positions of authority. The CUES Fund is essentially a development office and staffed appropriately for funding its own operations and the operations of the CUES School System.