CHAMPLAIN - As in Tupper Lake in 2002, this community's Catholic school, St. Mary's Academy, has been declared closed and will not open in the fall.
That move displaces 70 students in pre-kindergarten through grade 6, as well as 12 teachers and staff members, according to the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh.
The community had managed to meet a $117,000 fundraising goal and to raise the enrollment from 48 students this past year, the Press-Republican reports. When classes let out out for the summer in late June, students, staff and parents expected to see each other at the school in the fall.
But after a $50,000 donor pulled out, and facing a $140,000 deficit in the 2012-13 school budget, pastor the Rev. James Delbel made his decision based on finances. Some members of the school community are asking Bishop Terry LaValley of Ogdensburg to overturn the decision.
Many parochial (parish) Catholic schools are endangered nationwide. St. Agnes School in Lake Placid dropped its upper grades, 4 and 5, a year ago, and St. Bernard's School in Saranac Lake also struggles with low enrollment.