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Catholic Schools In Baltimore Closing As Enrollment Drops

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Cardinal Gibbons in southwest Baltimore is one of 13 schools the Archdiocese plans to close due to rising costs and declining enrollments.
Cathy Duchamp
Cardinal Gibbons in southwest Baltimore is one of 13 schools the Archdiocese plans to close due to rising costs and declining enrollments.

By Cathy Duchamp

Catholic school managers in Baltimore will hold public meetings this week on a reorganization plan that calls for closing 13 schools run by the Archdiocese. Higher costs and falling enrollment get the blame. But many parents question the math behind the plan.

When you’re kid’s school closes, you want answers. And you want to vent.

"We’ve been lied to; we’ve been lied to by the Archdiocese," says Kevin Carson, the parent of a freshman at Cardinal Gibbons High School.

It’s on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s closure list. Carson is also Gibbons graduate, class of ’76, who showed up at a rally to save the school.

"We were told the entire year that enrollment was stabilized, that bills were being met and that the school would stay open," he says.

Carson believes politics got mixed into the finances of what schools to close.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese did not return calls for comment.

Catholic school leaders are expected to lay out their future vision in meetings this week. That could include a shift to specialized programs, like foreign language, science and technology. Some troubled Catholic schools in D.C. have been converted to charter schools, an option likely to be weighed in Baltimore as well.

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