NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Students, teachers and parents are rallying to save Bishop Ford Central High School in Brooklyn.
Earlier this week, officials announced the school will close for good on June 30 after final exams due to declining enrollment and a facility in need of repair.
In 2006, there were 1,347 students enrolled in the school; now there are 499, principal Thomas Arria said. The projected enrollment for next year is 422.
“In recent years, the school population has shrunk dramatically,” Arria wrote in a letter to parents. “There has not been a sufficient revenue stream other than tuition, which alone cannot support the operation.”
PTA treasurer Nancy Pineiro said the school board hasn’t been forthcoming about the financial problems.
“They’re claiming that it’s because enrollment is down and we know for a fact there are other Catholic schools in Brooklyn who have a lower enrollment than we do and they’re not closing them. Why is that? We want answers,” Pineiro told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria at the rally on Wednesday. “We want to see the facts. It’s not enrollment, I think there was an agenda at hand.”
Students said shutting down the school for good has taken an emotional toll on everyone.
“When we got the news in the assembly I was very surprised to see how many students broke out into tears,” one senior said.
“It’s painful because I’ve been here for three years, and now I have to go to senior year somewhere else and I have to graduate with people I don’t know,” one junior said. “I have to assimilate into a new school.”
School officials promised to help families find placement in other Catholic high schools.
Bishop Ford was founded in 1962.
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