Last winter after Bishop Clark announced he was closing 13 Monroe County Catholic schools, parents and others involved with 6 of them decided they would make an attempt to keep their schools open. Save-our-school committees were formed and educational and financial plans were developed that would have allowed each of them to operate independently of the diocese.
But the bishop still said no. As he wrote in what others have described as a form letter, "despite the helpful information provided, the exciting proposals presented and the heartfelt pleas of your people, I must continue to recommend the closing of [insert school name here] this June for the good of the whole."
Now it looks like their efforts have earned these 6 parishes a little "reward" in the form of increased average CMA assessments for the 2008-09 fiscal year.
The 2008-09 CMA assessments for each parish in the diocese are now posted on dor.org. The spreadsheet below lists those assessments, as well as the assessments for last year, for each of the 12 parishes still in existence that have lost their schools.
It turns out that the 6 parishes that tried to save their schools have seen their 2008-09 CMA assessments increase by an average of $2,304, or 2.8%, while the 6 parishes that did not are enjoying an average reduction of $1,025, or 2.3%.
But what about the parishes whose schools were not closed? Well it sure looks like DOR has decided they can't afford to pay much more.
Each of the other 12 parishes, however, still has an empty building that needs to be heated and maintained and that is bringing in little or no revenue. Why are some of these parishes seeing a reduction in their average assessments while the others - those who, in effect, protested the bishop's decision - seeing a significant increase?
Is DOR trying to teach us a lesson here?
[Note: This is the second version of this post. As Dr. K. notes in a comment below, I had originally overlooked St. John the Evangelist's efforts to save their school in the original version. This correction alters the averages somewhat, but the big picture remains unchanged.]