Fighting Catholic School Closings
March 30th, 2006

Parentswith studentsin Catholic schools and local church parishioners are reacting to the news that the Archdiocese of New York is planning to close 11 schools and eight churches in New York City and vowing to fight to keep them open.

The Daily News urges those who want to mount a campaign to look for advice from those who fought a similar battle in Brooklyn last year and “through innovative fund-raising and consultation with cost-cutting experts and the help of an ‘angel’or two – as well as local pols – managed to save a few schools that had been earmarked for closure

The battle will be uphill and may well end in disappointment,” the editorial page states. “But, while there’s still hope, the fight would be a good one.”

The New York Sun sees a connection between the school closings and the proposed state budget, which would send additional education funding to New York City.

“The two events aren’t directly linked, but they’re related,” the editorial page states. “Although many factors account for the Church’s decision- many of those schools are affiliated with parishes being closed due to declining attendance – higher public school spending is putting the squeeze on parochial institutions. Without the new aid from Albany, the city already spends about $18,000 on each student including capital expenditures. Catholic high schools spend a third of that while facing many similar challenges, including aging school buildings.”

By on March 30, 2006, 7:59 am
In category: Education,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Fighting Catholic School Closings”

  1. Larry Littlefield Says:
    March 30th, 2006 at 9:02 am

    Someone, perhaps everyone, is going to have to give up a pretty good deal.

    Those who are not Catholic School parents are going to have to accept that they cannot collect taxes for education from Catholic School parents and give them nothing in return.

    Catholics are going to have to understand that their Catholic School, parish and diocese are broke, and perhaps paying a couple of hundred dollars more in tutition and throwing a little more in the basket on Sunday is more important than a bigger car or television.

    This is just a symptom of a broader institutional decline, as those in the know seek a better deal for themselves from public and voluntary organizations (shorter careers, richer pensions, tax breaks, more special grants, higher reimbursements, etc), and popular “leaders” are those who provide it by pushing off the costs to the future.

    As for the Sun, would that they once made the same argument about the city’s public schools and suburban schools, where high spending enabled by STAR left the city with the worst teachers during the enrollment growth and teachers shortage of the 1990s. NYC residents were taxed to pay for this. But somehow this was OK for the Sun, the Post, the Manhattan Institute, none of which will EVER speak critically about school spending elsewhere in the state, even though it is higher than in NYC.

    And note that the current budget has no tax credit specifically for education, and a decrease the share of education funding for NYC schools, because the new enhanced STAR will allow school districts outside the city to spend more without raising property taxes.

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