March 06, 2005

Diocese money woes imperil schools

Sacramento Bee

By Laurel Rosenhall -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Sunday, March 6, 2005

Financial troubles stemming from declining enrollment and the potential cost of settling lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests threaten the future of up to 10 elementary schools in the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento.

Diocese officials, who oversee an area that stretches from Sacramento to the Oregon border, won't name all the schools they're considering restructuring or closing. But at least two are in Sacramento neighborhoods, and parents there say they are frustrated with the lack of communication on a matter that affects hundreds of families.

In a Feb. 24 letter sent to parents at All Hallows School in Tahoe Park and St. Peter's School in Fruitridge Manor, diocese officials warned that the stability of the schools is in question because of dropping enrollment, rising operating costs and the looming threat of legal liability.

"The settlement of abuse cases puts our finances in question," said Lynette Magnino, spokeswoman for the Sacramento Diocese.

"There is a potential that things will be affected in the future."

Posted by kshaw at March 6, 2005 08:12 AM