Bay, Saginaw area Catholic schools could close, parents speak ou - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Bay, Saginaw area Catholic schools could close, parents speak out

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(02/12/14) - Big changes could be coming to Saginaw and Bay Area Catholic schools.

Money troubles are forcing them to make tough decisions - they could be closing three elementary schools.

Wednesday night, administrators from both districts met with concerned parents. The meeting went well into the evening.

For three hours, a committee, along with Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw Joseph Cistone, listened to parents' comments on this proposal.

Media was not allowed inside the meeting.

The Bay Area Catholic Schools are proposing to close St. James and Holy Trinity elementaries.

Those schools would consolidate with St. Johns.

If they do not do this, they say they'll have more than a $300,000 debt.

The Saginaw Area Catholic Schools Board of Education has also recommended closing one elementary school.

They would most likely close St. Stephens, although the board says if it can come up with $745,000 to renovate that building, it would consider keeping it open.

If not St. Stephens kids could transfer to St. Thomas Aquinas in Saginaw Township.

Many parents are not happy with this proposal.

We spoke to a father after the meeting. He feels like parents were not included in this process - the districts have been considering this for seven months and he says this is the first he's heard of the proposal to close schools.

Many parents also wonder about the decision to send Bay Area kids to St. John's. They say the committee making this proposal is made up of people with a preference to St. John's.

Bishop Cistone says they will act with everyone's best interests at heart.

Still, parents are concerned.

Bishop Cistone says after hearing so many parents speak so passionately about this, he wants to take his time with a decision - but he does want to give teachers notice as soon as possible if they do decide to close.

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