Tonawanda News

The City

January 31, 2014

Closing St. Francis could affect TCSD budget

Tonawanda News — The Tonawanda school board discussed what effect the possible closure of St. Francis school would have on the district’s finances at the budget advisory team meeting Thursday night.

Although the community is fighting the diocese’s decision to close St. Francis, if the school does close, more than 140 children will have to find a new school. The district does not provide for transportation outside of the city, so if the students choose a Catholic school in another municipality, the district will not incur extra costs.

But the district is required to pay tuition for children who attend charter schools, about $10,000 per pupil, Assistant Superintendent Mary Beth Scullion said. 

Some other nearby Catholic schools have reported they are close to capacity, so the charter schools may be an option. The number of Tonawanda residents attending charter schools is already projected to increase next year.

Budget advisory members suggested communicating with St. Francis families to find out how many students were interested in attending Tonawanda schools — as an increase in attendance would also effect the 2014-15 budget.

Two families have already asked Tonawanda officials for tours.

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