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Future Called Questionable For St. Thomas

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Future Called Questionable For St. Thomas

Continued operation of financially-troubled St. Thomas High and Elementary Schools beyond the current school year is “very questionable,” according to Msgr. Vincent Howard.

In order to meet financial criteria set down by John Cardinal Dearden of Detroit, St. Thomas would be forced “to raise tuition drastically. There is no other way to make it,” according to Msgr. Howard, pastor at St. Thomas.

Cardinal Dearden has said parishes in the diocese, which operate both a high school and elementary school, may use no more than 55 per cent of their budgets to operate the schools. St. Thomas, apparently, cannot meet this standard without a boost in tuition.

A decision on whether St. Thomas will stay open or close is expected to be made later this month by the cardinal.

Enrollment at St. Thomas Elementary is more than 600, with another 324 students in ths high school. Msgr. Howard says a survey is being sent to parents to determine how much of an increase in tuition they can afford. Tuition at this time is $150 per family.

In a letter to parents of children attending St. Francis School, signed by the school board, Parish Council and Fr. Francis Srebrnak, it was stated: “We have good reason to believe, based on our report, that our school will continue.

“It was clear that the financial requirements could be satisfied now and in the foreseeable future provided that the parish contributions remain at the present level.”