Parents demand answers about closure of Catholic schools - FOX 13 News

Parents demand answers about closure of Catholic schools

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

St. Mary's Star of the Sea on City Island in the Bronx is just one of more than 20 schools that the Archdiocese of New York will be closing in a few months.

I sat down with parents from a few of those schools, and they all say they want some answers.

One said: "It's been a roller coaster of emotion."

Another said: "Shock, disgust, sadness, betrayal."

Their kids may attend different catholic schools within the Archdiocese of New York, but these parents all have the same story.

"When we got the news, everybody was devastated," Rose Davis said. She found out just after Thanksgiving that her daughter's school, St. Mary's Star of the Sea on City Island, was in trouble.

Holy Cross School in Manhattan and St. Augustine's in Rockland County were on the same list -- all in danger of closing.

Parents received a letter from the archdiocese explaining that if they came up with a certain amount of money and a three-year financial plan for their schools they could be in the clear.

"They said we had to come up with $360,000, which we did in a matter of three weeks," Davis said.

"Our specific goal was $1.2 million over the course of three years in a deficit we needed to eliminate," said Bethann Rooney, whose daughter attends St. Augustine School. "We came up with $2.1 million in five weeks."

But after raising all that money over the holidays, they found out their schools would still be closing along with almost two dozen others.

"To know that we raised this money and then the archdiocese overlooked the fact that everyone took time out to do this and still close the school is like devastating," said Willa Brown, whose son attends Holy Cross School

The news also hit students hard.

"I was crying, I was just so upset, why did they have to close our school?" said Emily Rooney.

Gary Brown, who attends Holy Cross, said: "I'm going to lose my friends, maybe some of my best friends. We won't probably go to the same school."

The archdiocese refused our request for an interview. When we asked for specifics why the schools in question were closing we got a press release, which reads, in part: "The decision to close the at-risk schools follows a painstaking, months-long review... This review included all relevant data, including enrollment, financial, academic and local demographics..."

But that's not satisfying these parents.

"We're owed an explanation," Bethann Rooney said. "And I'm not going to stop looking for an answer until we get it."

The schools are all slated for closure in June of 2013. That means a lot of these parents will have to decide pretty soon where to send their children for the next school year.

In the meantime, all of the parents are hoping that they can do something before then to save their schools.

---

List of schools to close:

Manhattan:
Annunciation
Holy Cross
Holy Name of Jesus
St. James-St. Joseph
St. Jude
 
Central Westchester:
Holy Name of Jesus, Valhalla
Our Lady of Fatima, Scarsdale
St. Casimir, Yonkers

Northern Westchester/Putnam:
Our Lady of the Assumption, Peekskill
St. Theresa, Briarcliff Manor
 
Dutchess:
St. Joseph, Millbrook
 
Rockland:
St. Augustine, New City
St. Peter, Haverstraw
 
Ulster, Orange, Sullivan:
St. Joseph, Kingston
St. Mary of the Snow, Saugerties

Northwest and South Bronx:
Holy Spirit
Our Lady of Angels
Our Lady of Mercy
St. Jerome
 
East and Northeast Bronx:
Blessed Sacrament
St. Anthony
St. Mary Star of the Sea

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • Soldier who killed herself at Va. Army base was from Yonkers

    Soldier who killed herself at Va. Army base was from Yonkers

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 1:28 PM EDT2014-08-27 17:28:56 GMT

    The Army has identified the soldier who barricaded herself in a building at a Virginia base and then fatally shot herself in the head.  Fort Lee officials on Wednesday say it was 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker of Yonkers

    The Army has identified the soldier who barricaded herself in a building at a Virginia base and then fatally shot herself in the head.  Fort Lee officials on Wednesday say it was 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Paula M. Walker of Yonkers

  • Beheaded goat found in Westchester

    Beheaded goat found in Westchester

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 4:37 PM EDT2014-08-26 20:37:42 GMT
    The carcasses of beheaded birds, goat, and other animals were found in bags dumped on the side of a road in Westchester County, the local SPCA said. The bags were found Monday at the intersection of Route 129 and Underhill Avenue in Yorktown.
    The carcasses of beheaded birds, goat, and other animals were found in bags dumped on the side of a road in Westchester County, the local SPCA said. The bags were found Monday at the intersection of Route 129 and Underhill Avenue in Yorktown.
  • Woman running for Seneca Nation presidency

    Woman running for Seneca Nation presidency

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 2:50 PM EDT2014-08-26 18:50:33 GMT
    A Seneca Nation Council member is running to become the first female president of the western New York tribe. Darlene Miller announced her candidacy on Monday, saying she wants to unify the divided Seneca Nation and get back to traditional ways and values.
    A Seneca Nation Council member is running to become the first female president of the western New York tribe. Darlene Miller announced her candidacy on Monday, saying she wants to unify the divided Seneca Nation and get back to traditional ways and values.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices