2005-02-11 / Front Page

Weiner Urges Diocese To Reconsider Closings

Representative Anthony has urged the Diocese of Brooklyn to reconsider its massive push to close Catholic schools, including St. Virgilius School in Broad Channel. 

Weiner proposed a summit meeting between Church and City officials to find some way to solve the funding crunch.

Students throughout New York City attend Catholic schools.  But now hundreds are facing displacement.

The Diocese has announced that it cannot afford to keep 26 of its schools open after the school year ends.  Parents are outraged, and scrambling to find educational alternatives. Making matters worse: in his budget released this week, President Bush proposed cutting in half federal assistance to private schools.  Under the Bush budget, Title V funding would be slashed from $199 million to $100 million. Weiner called on the Diocese to forestall the closures until after a summit involving parents, church, school, and city officials can be arranged. 

“The Diocese of Brooklyn faces substantial financial challenges in operating these schools,” said Weiner. “But simply shutting them down will be a disaster for some of these families.  It’s time for all the stakeholders to gather around the same table, and hash out a solution to the funding crunch. This is a concern for our whole city which is already strapped for space in the public schools.”

Three schools targeted for closure-Resurrection Elementary School, St. Stanislaus Bishop - Martyr, and St. Virgilius School-are within Rep. Weiner’s district.

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