NEW YORK (OSV News) — The Archdiocese of New York has announced that 12 of its Catholic schools will close at the end of the 2022-23 academic year and four others will be merged into two schools due to the schools’ financial outlook.
“Shifting demographics and lower enrollment made worse by the pandemic” have had a “detrimental” impact on the involved schools’ “financial stability,” the archdiocese stated.
“It is never a good day when we announce closures to any of our beloved schools, but the goal is always to strengthen the remaining institutions and preserve Catholic education in New York for decades to come,” New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said in a Feb. 15 statement.
Five schools in the New York borough of Manhattan will close, as will six in the Bronx borough, and one in the Staten Island borough. The four schools that will be merged into two are in the Bronx.
Cardinal Dolan said the archdiocese will provide “educational guidance and pastoral support to all those affected to ensure all children will be warmly welcomed into a nearby Catholic school. … With hard work and God’s blessings, we will come out on the other side.”
The Office of the Superintendent of Schools said it “will work closely” with each family affected by the closures or mergers to help them find a neighboring Catholic school for their children for the fall.
“We understand these are challenging times for many families, and this is indeed a sad day for everyone in our Catholic schools community,” said Michael J. Deegan, archdiocesan superintendent of schools, in a statement. “I personally mourn the loss of every one of our great schools.”
But “as we process this news, we must resolve that the great tradition of Catholic education in New York will continue,” he said, adding the archdiocese will help students who want to continue their Catholic education “to find a seat at another excellent school in the archdiocese.”
Deegan’s office said it would work with the teachers’ union to help faculty at the closing and merging schools to find a new job within the archdiocesan school system.