Fight brewing over school

April 21, 2009 2:59:29 PM PDT
There's a fight brewing over the fate of a north Houston Catholic school. The parents of students and alumni of Holy Name School say the archdiocese has been using incorrect information to justify their plans to close the school.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Parents are asking for the third time for a meeting with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. They're outraged over what they call inaccurate information which has led the archdiocese to plan the school's closure.

"The reasons are just wrong. We can prove it is wrong," said parent Joann Oldham.

In the shadow of the school which they hold so dear, children and their parents publicly question the study which concluded the Holy Name School was no longer an economically and educationally viable campus.

"Please save our school because I would want to graduate from there," said student Curtis Oldham.

The results of the 18-month study were released earlier this year when the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston announced the merging or closure of four campuses.

"The archdiocese has been given inaccurate information from this study which contains vague observations and little or no recommendations for improvement for long-term goals," said parent Lawrence Rodriguez.

Supporters say enrollment here is not down, but up 5.5%. Although the study concluded the school is run down and in need of repair, those who want to save it say it has passed inspections by the diocese's own inspector.

Further, they say students continue to thrive here despite being told by the archdiocese that another reason for closure is academics.

The archdiocese would not respond to our questions about these allegations, but instead referred us to a February statement by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo that read in part, "We believe we have the best plan, not the easiest plan, but the best plan to help position our Catholic schools for excellence for the next 20 years, while serving the greatest number of students in our diverse and dynamic community."

Supporters realize this is still a business. Some blame the archdiocese and Cardinal DiNardo for seemingly turning their backs on them. They say nothing hurts more than to hear that there is still a bottom line in a relationship they once thought of as family.

The archdiocese says students from affected schools will be invited to attend other Catholic schools, with the diocese offering assistance if there is any difference in tuition.

Holy Name is set to close at the end of the school year.

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