ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Catholic high school in New Jersey is making a Hail Mary attempt to keep its doors open after nearly a century.
St. Mary of the Assumption High School in Elizabeth dates back to the 1930s.
Students and faculty found out Monday the Archdiocese of Newark is shutting the school down on June 30.
The problem is a steady decline in enrollment and a deepening budget deficit.
The archdiocese released the following statement regarding the closure:
“The difficult decision to close St. Mary of the Assumption High School was made after a thorough and systematic review of the school’s operational and financial circumstances. Due to a steady decline in school enrollment in past years and an escalating fiscal deficit nearing $1.5 million, in addition to the Archdiocese of Newark absorbing more than $2.1 million for operations and pensions, insurance and healthcare for staff, it was clear that the school’s financial stability would not be reached in the foreseeable future. The hope was that 2019-2020 student registration would improve to permit the school to continue operating. Regrettably, that expectation did not materialize.”
The school has set up a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise $2 million by the end of next month.
“I think it’s horrible. This school has been here forever … It’s just sad, today in the economy, what the teachers are going to do,” Elizabeth resident Rassana Williams said.
The school says if it raises enough money to stay open, it has a plan to stabilize its finances and put its future back on track.