NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Archdiocese of New York has decided to close 22 elementary schools and two high schools that have been deemed financially “at risk.”
The decision came despite heated protests from parents and students at the schools.
The Archdiocese announced Tuesday that only four of the 26 “at-risk” elementary schools identified in November will remain open, and decisions have been deferred about two additional schools on Staten Island that were affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The remaining 22 elementary schools and two high schools will close in June, after the current school year ends.
As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, the Archdiocese said it needed to close a $24 million budget gap, and needed to have all its schools on a sound financial footing.
“We do have to have a better business model,” said Archdiocese Schools Supt. Dr. Timothy McNiff. “There’s payrolls to be met for 7,000 teaches, there’s utility bills to be paid, and maintenance on buildings, and we have expenses just like everybody else.”
Each of the schools was awarded a chance to plead its case for staying open, and present a financial survival plan, before the final decision is made.