Tonawanda News

Editorials

January 20, 2014

St. Francis closure demands explanation

Tonawanda News — In announcing painful Catholic school closures throughout Erie County, Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone implored prayers from the faithful for those affected. That’s appropriate. But there’s an essential truth that must be stated:

No higher authority need intercede, just the bishop himself, to right a grievous wrong in deciding St. Francis of Assisi school will go dark.

As outraged parents and the crestfallen staff at St. Francis pointed out in this newspaper Friday, the decision simply doesn’t add up. By the diocese’s own criteria, St. Francis should remain open.

Here’s why:

• Its enrollment has bucked the larger trend in the region and actually increased over the last decade.

• It has a healthy and supportive alumni community that has, time and again, answered calls for financial support when asked.

• Its tuition is lower than most Catholic schools and serves families of lesser means in one of the more financially challenged parts of the diocese.

• It has a healthy tuition endowment of more than $500,000 to assist those needy families who want their children to get a Catholic education but could not afford it otherwise.

• It is the last remaining Catholic elementary school serving the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, two communities with a rich and important legacy of religious education.

• The school itself could take on an additional 200 students from other smaller schools that will remain open under the diocese’s reorganization.

• Because the school exists in a city as opposed to a town, the Tonawanda City School District is not required to bus children to schools outside city limits, meaning parents will now be responsible for doing so themselves, a serious roadblock to continuing a Catholic education for many families.

All of this stands in stark contrast with what the diocese has said would be primary considerations as it determined which schools would stay and which would go. Parents, teachers and students are very much owed an explanation as to why these basic facts were ignored.

Text Only
Editorials
  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: 'Jefferson lives' a testament to enduring freedom One hundred and eighty-eight years ago today, our nation's second president, John Adams, uttered his last bitter, ironic words: "Jefferson lives." Thomas Jefferson didn't have much of a response. He'd died earlier that day.

    July 4, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Parking law change a step in right direction We were pleased to see lawmakers in the City of Tonawanda throw it in reverse this week and vote to abolish an overnight parking during the summer in the city after initially voting to keep it last month.

    July 3, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Council should change parking law City of Tonawanda leaders missed an opportunity to make life a little easier for residents this week when they shot down by a 3-2 Common Council vote a proposal to allow residents to park on the street overnight during the summer.

    June 5, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: City right to cut ties with Natale Voters spoke clearly last year in council races and in the mayoral race they did not approve of the deal negotiated by the city's former mayor, Ron Pilozzi.

    April 3, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Turning the corner on winter -- we hope The lead on Thursday's story about the latest -- and dear God we hope the last -- winter storm of the season pretty much said it all. Enough already.

    March 29, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Wilson's legacy includes Bills in Buffalo We all owe Mr. Wilson a debt of gratitude for demonstrating such fierce loyalty to Buffalo and to the fans of his team.

    March 26, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Tonawanda Coke sentence offers deserved answers U.S. Chief District Judge William Skretny got Wednesday's sentencing of Tonawanda Coke right in acknowledging the pain and suffering the plant has caused its neighbors -- while also noting it deserves a chance to improve its standing in the community now that the trial is over.

    March 20, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Time to get a handle on robocalls Calling himself "Robo Cop," U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer last week called for harsher fines and even jail time for repeat offenders who violate the federal "Do Not Call" rules with pre-recorded telemarketing calls.

    February 16, 2014

  • St. Francis closure demands explanation

    January 20, 2014