Not all of the closing Catholic schools were in financial trouble

March 07, 2010

In explaining its plan to close 13 Catholic schools at the end of the school year, the Archdiocese of Baltimore needs to acknowledge that at least one of these schools was not draining energy out of the entire system. St. William of York School has operated without a deficit and at nearly full capacity for a number of years. Among all schools evaluated by the review teams of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Catholic Schools, it received the second highest score.

This was not achieved with the help of the archdiocese, which provided little or no financial assistance to the school in recent years. Instead, it was achieved through the work of dedicated teachers, an exceptional principal and an enthusiastic pastor who praised and supported the school month after month, year after year.

I have had the privilege of seeing and hearing about this work for some time, and it always moved and inspired me. By talking only of the hemorrhaging caused by the entire school system, the archdiocese is cruel to the faculty and families of Saint William of York School and perhaps to other schools as well. The archdiocese needs to provide better information about its plan to close these schools, or some people will suffer more than they already are, and others will draw all kinds of conclusions about the church's motives and approach.

Kevin Callahan, Catonsville

The writer is a member of the St. William of York School Board.

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