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Could Tax Breaks Help Catholic Schools in the Future?



Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As Bishop RIchard Malone announced the closure of ten area Catholic schools, he says state lawmakers could have helped save them by passing a tax credit bill.

"We might not be here (Wednesday) had the New York State Legislature approved the education investment tax credit bill, which would benefit Catholic, private, and public schools," says Malone. The bill would give dollar for dollar state tax credits for anyone who makes a donation to schools.
 
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State Senator Patrick Gallivan says he has not had a chance to speak with Malone, but believes this is a good idea. "I think all schools would benefit from this legislation, because people care about the schools their kids attend, and businesses that care about children being properly educated as they become future employees," believes Gallivan.

"If people were able to make donations to schools (and get a tax break), perhaps parents would be inclined to make that type of donation."

Gallivan says times are tight for both private and public schools and now is a good time to talk about how to help people benefit by donating to schools.

The schools slated to close at the end of this year are:
  • Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Elma [102 students (K-8); 18 faculty and staff]
  • Fourteen Holy Helpers School, West Seneca [136 students (K-8); 20 faculty and staff]
  • Our Lady of Pompeii School, Lancaster [70 students (K-8), 14 faculty and staff]
  • Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, Orchard Park [135 students (K-8); 24 faculty and staff]
  • St. Bernadette School, Orchard Park [148 students (K-8); 22 faculty and staff]
  • St. Francis of Assisi School, Tonawanda [152 students (K-8); 19 faculty and staff]
  • St. Joseph School, Gowanda [42 students (K-8); 16 faculty and staff]
  • St. Leo the Great School, Amherst [99 students (K-8); 24 faculty and staff]
  • St. Mary of the Lake School, Hamburg [122 students (K-8); 23 faculty and staff]
  • St. Vincent de Paul School, Spring Brook [148 students (K-8); 15 faculty and staff]
Bishop Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Buffalo, said the diocese and The BISON Fund are collaborating on a plan to fund new scholarships for students who have applied to transfer out of low performing Buffalo elementary schools. "We are involved in preliminary discussions with the BISON Children’s Scholarship Fund regarding a scholarship program which could potentially increase Catholic school enrollment and positively affect the future of our elementary schools."

"Regarding the school closures, this will be a difficult decision for many to accept, but these reductions are necessary and will allow us to sustain and eventually strengthen our remaining Catholic elementary schools," Bishop Malone said. "This is an important responsibility I bear as bishop. I am grateful to the Catholic School Advisory Council, pastors, principals and other lay advisors who spent a tremendous amount of time and effort during this planning effort."

The school closures will impact approximately 195 teachers and staff. The Diocese says that some of the teachers may choose to retire, while others may be re-hired to work at other schools if added enrollment allows them to hire additional teachers at the schools that remain open.

"I encourage families of closing schools to enroll in any other Catholic school, while remaining members of their current parishes. They will continue to qualify for the parishioner tuition rate at a school in another parish," Bishop Malone said. "We are not alone in this situation. Not a single public school district in Western New York is growing enrollment."


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Topics : EducationReligion_Belief
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Locations : Buffalo
People : MalonePatrick Gallivan
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