The Archdiocese of Chicago announced Monday it will close five schools at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year due to low enrollment and financial difficulties.
The following schools will close on June 30, 2020: St. Colette School in Rolling Meadows, St. Jane de Chantal School in Chicago’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood, St. Joseph School in Round Lake, St. Louise de Marillac School in LaGrange Park and St. Maria Goretti School in Schiller Park, according to a statement issued by the Archdiocese.
Parents of students at St. Jane de Chantal said they were furious to learn the news of the closure Monday and claimed the school didn't get enough support from the Archdiocese.
"They gave us the news of funds that needed to be raised at the end of the school year," said parent Kevin Brennan. "They said they would help us, but they didn't really help us. They didn't do anything to really boost this, boost enrollment."
Although several of the schools led fundraising efforts in hope of keeping their doors open, the Archdiocese said the amounts raised weren’t enough to cover budget deficits.
"It doesn't make sense," Brennan said, referring to the upcoming closures. "There could be more creative ways to keep things running."
Maria Molinaro Whalen said her daughter who attends St. Jane de Chantal was "frantic" after learning about the closure.
"[It's] all about dollars for them, when it should be about the kids, community and faith" Molinaro Whalen said, referring to the Archdiocese.
Assistance will be provided to help affected students and employees find placement at other area Catholic schools, the Archdiocese said.
Multiple families at St. Jane de Chantal told NBC 5 they're furious about making fundraiser donations to try to save the school and are considering a class-action lawsuit.
In November, the Archdiocese announced it would close and combine several parishes and schools as part of its plan for a sustainable future. Those mergers are set to take effect on July 1, 2020.