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Six LI Catholic Elementary Schools to Close

Diocese of Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy said "like public schools, we must face the harsh reality that we no longer need as many school buildings as we may have had in the past."

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is closing six of its 53 elementary schools on Long Island at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.

According to the Diocese of RVC website, the six schools that will close are:

  • St. John Baptist de La Salle Regional School (Farmingdale)
  • St. Catherine of Sienna School (Franklin Square)
  • St. Ignatius Loyola School (Hicksville)
  • Sacred Heart School (North Merrick)
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Lindenhurst)
  • Prince of Peace Regional School (Sayville)

Along with the aforementioned schools, Diocese of Rockville Centre Bishop William Murphy said he has asked five schools, three in Suffolk County and two in Nassau County, to form a "strategic collaboration." It wasn't clear what that collaboration would include.  

The remaining 42 schools will remain open next year.

The decision to close the six schools was arrived at for various reasons, including what Murphy described as "changing demographics and difficult national and local economic conditions."

Murphy also said that his Bishop’s Advisory Committee on Catholic Education completed a thorough evaluation of each of the elementary schools on Long Island. The evaluation took into account enrollment and school age demographic trends, the financial position of schools and parishes, and a review of the facilities, technology and programs offered.

"Given the decline in school-age population and the economic climate on Long Island we, like many public school districts, must face the harsh reality that we no longer need as many school buildings as we may have had in the past," Murphy said.

James M. December 08, 2011 at 07:12 PM
Below is from an article in the NY times But in some communities like South Bend, tolerance of religious tax breaks is fraying as local governments struggle to provide basic services with limited resources. There are no national figures on how much money these tax breaks save religious organizations and on how much extra cost is shifted to other citizens. But a typical state, Colorado, reported that religious real estate valued at more than $1.1 billion was exempt from local property taxes there last year. Nationally, tax-exempt financing for religious organizations totaled at least $20 billion during the decade that ended last year.
Frank December 08, 2011 at 10:22 PM
About the Bishop's remark on fewer school-age children on Long Island, the answer is two-fold. One, many young adults of socially acceptable childbearing age are leaving LI in droves for cheaper pastures. There are many factors to the phenomenon, but the key is that LI is simply too expensive, especially for those that are saddled with oppressive college debt. Many simply want to move out of the parent's basement. Two, there is a significant population of school-age children on LI that are unregistered, due to their parents' illegal resident status. Given that state funds are based on the number of registered schoolchildren, many go unaccounted and with it those funds.
Ted Bolton December 12, 2011 at 01:38 PM
I cannot speak for the other schools, however enrollment at Sacred Heart School has increased the past few years. Unfortunately, the Bishop's study conveniently opted to exclude Pre-K and Kindergarten students from their "analysis". So the stated rationale, at least as far as Sacred Heart is concerned, is inaccurate. Anyone from the Diocese like to comment ?
Ray December 12, 2011 at 01:59 PM
You would think that pre-k and Kindergarten enrollments would factor in when considering the future of a school. I am sorry that your school is closing Ted.
genmongel February 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM
in this day and age its all about the roommoney, high tiution and over crowded class rooms in the catholic schools.... I send my kids to catholic school for religion purposes and the idea of smaller classes so my children can get more attention in the classroom....Due to school closings 2 yrs ago my kids are in classrooms of 30 + kids. I have one child who they say falls in between the cracks( what this mean) i have to pay extra money on top of tuition to bring my child up to grade level (huntington learning center). is this fair.... they need these schools to stay open so these kids can get the education that our hard earn money is paying for....... I've been involved with private schools all my life and they can care less about education or religious values it's all about the money and how many kids they can pack into a classroom and over charge of education that the kids arent receiving.....Very disappointed

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