Tonawanda News

Local News

January 22, 2014

St. Francis gears up for fight

BACKLASH: Petition sent to bishop, meeting planned for Thursday at school.

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

All registration fees will be refundable if something happens along the line, he said. The possibility of the school remaining open as an independent, private school has also been mentioned in the past week.

Saltarelli said some of the issues involved are the transportation question (city school districts are not obligated to bus children to private schools out of their district boundaries), the fact that the school also supports a community with many low-income students (diocese representatives have cited low-income families in the City of Buffalo as a reason for keeping those city schools open) and the school’s $500,000 endowment fund, which he said cannot, under the parish bylaws, go with the students, but must stay within the parish.

“It is a historic moment for the Tonawandas,” he said. “St. Francis of Assisi church is a historic landmark. If you close the school, you’re sticking a dagger into the church itself.”

In addition to meetings and petitions, supporters of St. Francis have also turned to social media, tweeting the Pope and starting a “Save Saint Francis of Assisi School Tonawanda New York” Facebook page, which was created Friday and was up to 1,835 members by Tuesday afternoon.

“The Diocese of Buffalo picked the wrong school to close,” wrote one parent on the page this weekend. “Little did they realize how much we love the school and will fight their decision.”

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