Catholic school closures do not align with figures
I read with great interest the April 8 News article on the significant population gains to the Buffalo Niagara region for people ages 20 to 34 since 2006. A gain of 10.5 percent in Erie County of a “demographic” of those in their child-bearing years seems somewhat counter to the data the Diocese of Buffalo has been presenting as the reason that 10 Catholic elementary schools need to be closed.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Orchard Park, which had two of its schools closed, had gained 5.3 percent in an earlier time period of 2000 to 2010.
Couple this gain with the diocese’s New Evangelization Commission, which “hopes to promote the building of a parish community that extends beyond Sunday Mass,” perhaps by “enrolling children in the neighborhood school” to “create a vibrant parish,” and other efforts to reach out and bring inactive or non-Catholics into the church and I wonder even more at the decision.
Now throw in the state budget gaps that local school districts are facing and cuts to programs that could lead still others to look at Catholic education as an alternative, and I really have to question the rationale of the closures.
Eirene Horey Choroser