BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham’s oldest African-American Catholic elementary school is inching closer to shutting its doors.
Back in March, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School’s principal was urgently trying to raise $150,000. Today, things are not looking good.
Principal Al Logan says declining enrollment was to blame for the school’s financial problems, problems that go back at least 5 years.
“It’s very heartbreaking for me because when I started here in June I came with the expectations of really helping the school and I feel like we need more time,” said Logan.
Tara Flemmon’s daughter just graduated from Kindergarten. Instead of celebrating she now has to try to find another school for the upcoming school year.
She has strong words for those involved in the school’s possible closure.
“We are all heavy-hearted so if you have a heart at least come and face us for this last month and we’ll try to help you work on something, if we knew there was a problem beforehand you best believe we would’ve been here fighting here standing like we’re standing now,” said Flemmon.
The Diocese of Birmingham released a statement saying in part, The Diocese of Birmingham is not closing the school! It is closing simply because there are no funds available from the parish and diocese. Going on to say the school has had low enrollment and wasn’t able to fundraise enough money to keep the school open.
Our Lady of Fatima is Birmingham’s oldest and only African-American Catholic elementary school.