Five Catholic schools forced to close their doors by end of school year

NEW YORK (PIX11) — Five Catholic schools in NYC are slated for closure at the end of the current academic year, citing declining enrollment and financial strain.

Deacon Kevin McCormack, Superintendent of Schools for the Brooklyn Diocese, made the announcement on Friday.

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“The situation really comes down to two things,” Deacon McCormack said. “First is the declining enrollment, and with declining enrollment comes a crippling debt and deficit that goes through that.”

The schools slated for closure are:

  • St. Matthias in Ridgewood, Queens

  • St. Catherine St. Theresa in East Flatbush

  • Salve Regina in East New York (Brooklyn Diocese)

  • St. Simon Stock in the Bronx

  • Transfiguration School in Westchester (Archdiocese of New York)

Despite the closures, Deacon McCormack emphasized the vital role Catholic schools play in shaping well-rounded individuals.

“What the Catholic School does is it gives us, uh a cutting edge academics. It gives a dignified discipline, and it also gives a, rooted in a Catholic imagination. It allows people to see the grace of God in the midst that they do,” he said.

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Deacon McCormack also pointed out the financial challenges faced by Catholic schools compared to charter schools.

“We also have a big competition with charter schools, which are funded by state and city coffers, and Catholic schools, which have a proven record for almost two centuries. Um, we’re out of the loop on that,” he said.

The Diocese has launched a website to assist students and parents in finding alternative schools within the area. All payments made towards the 2024/25 school year will be refunded, and new registration fees will be waived.

Deacon McCormack concluded by making a plea for support. “We need people who are graduates of Catholic schools… to support the system… We also can encourage people to be part of our schools…” he said.

According to Deacon McCormack, each of the schools will complete the current academic year before closing their doors.

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