St. Mary of the Assumption School, a 135-year-old Catholic school in Govans, will be closing at the end of this school year, according to Sean Caine, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
The kindergarten through eighth-grade school, which has suffered declining enrollments in recent years, was $1 million in debt and needed additional funds from the archdiocese to meet payroll this year, said Caine.
"It has served needy children in the area and those families, while they sacrifice a lot, aren't able to pay full tuition, and it puts a heavy burden on the parish," Caine said. Fifteen percent of the school's student body is Catholic.
St. Mary is the third Catholic school in Maryland to close this year. St. Michael School in Frostburg and the Catholic Community School in Federal Hill also are closing.
"To us, it speaks to a much larger issue. No matter what, we have to find additional revenue to support these schools," Caine said.
The archdiocese called together a panel this year to decide what to do about declining enrollments and lack of financial support for some of the Catholic schools in Maryland, particularly those where tuition is low and the school serves low-income students.
The archdiocese has asked the Maryland General Assembly for additional tax dollars to keep the schools operating but has not persuaded legislators to support the idea. The schools currently receive $3.6 million in public money.
The archdiocese will hold a meeting for St. Mary parents May 26 to help them find other Catholic schools that their children can attend next year.