Parents rally against planned closure of Santa Maria School, other NYC Catholic schools

Parents rallied in Westchester Square Saturday in response to the planned closure of 12 Catholic schools across New York City.
Parents at Santa Maria School said they were unsure what their next move would be. Some say they do not want their children to attend public schools while others say the Catholic schools that are staying open are too far of a commute.
One parent told News 12 they wish they received more notice about the struggles the schools were facing due financial troubles so they could have at least attempted to help the school raise the funds they needed to stay open.
"This is a disservice because a lot of these families are relying on that Catholic education and now that option is no longer for them. Especially because many of them are on financial aid,” said a mother.
Parents say they will be attending meetings about these school closures to come up with a plan to keep them open.
Ben Colon, who has been working at Santa Maria since 2001, says that he came to coach basketball at the school to keep his mind busy after losing his wife on 9/11. He is also devastated by the news of the planned closure.
"I feel like my life is being ripped apart again. That’s why I’m here today. To support this community and to support these kids. These kids have become my kids, my sons and daughters,” he said.
Students also expressed concern about having to go to a new school.
"I'm a little scared about going to the next school, but what I learned here is that you can fit in anywhere as long as you can find where you belong,” said one student.