The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York plans to close a number of elementary and high schools in Manhattan, Staten Island and the Bronx. They are responsible for 216 parochial schools in the area. The exact number of schools to be shut down has yet to be released. Some church officials have estimated that about 30 schools with be affected, reports The New York Times.
The closings are representative of a nation-wide trend. Nearly half of Catholic schools in Brooklyn have closed since 1998. The current closures are part of the “Pathway to Excellence” plan, which aims to address the steady decline of student enrollment in Catholic schools since the 1980s. The three-year strategy includes recruiting better principals, improving test scores, increasing financial aid and attracting more Hispanic students.
The school closings also aims to cut deficits, as part of a massive financial overhaul. The plan will spread costs and funds more uniformly across regional parishes, and consolidate schools with low enrollment.