Saint Augustine School learned today that from the Archdiocese of New York that it will close at the end of the school year. Those involved with the effort to keep the school open reacted strongly to the news.
“This news is devastating and extremely disappointing for our school, our Parish and the entire community,” Step Up For SAS Chairperson Bethann Rooney said. “The students, parents and faculty are heartbroken.”
Rooney went on to say, “The Archdiocese invited us to play a game, but set all of the rules so that we never had a chance of winning. They are harvesting our students to feed and sustain other Catholic schools in Rockland County.”
Step Up For SAS presented a proposal to the Saint Dominic Catholic School Region of Rockland that specified how Saint Augustine School planned to achieve financial self-sustainability that did not require financial support from the Parish or Archdiocese. When the Archdiocese announced the list of “at risk” schools on November 26, Saint Augustine also learned it would need to raise $1.245 million. The school exceeded that amount by $855,000 through fundraising, revenue enhancements and expense reductions.
School officials have already stated Saint Augustine meets or exceeds the objectives of the Archdiocese’s multi-year strategic plan.
Principal Katharine Murphy expressed sadness about the news, “Saint Augustine School exemplifies everything the Archdiocese wants for their schools. We are the educational beacon they should be navigating toward not away from.”