Tag Archives: Christ the King lawsuit

Christ the King HS agrees to faculty salary increase


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Christ the King High School

Christ the King High School has been doing well financially in recent years and now teachers will see some of that success in their paychecks.

The school announced a pay raise for faculty members with a new two-year contract. School administrators and the Lay Faculty Association, which represents the faculty, came to the agreement, and made the announcement Monday.

“As a result of good faith negotiations, we have come to an agreement where faculty members will have an increase in salary, all the while maintaining a level tuition for students for the next three years,” said Serphin Maltese, the school’s board of trustees chair.

In November, The Diocese of Brooklyn filed a lawsuit against Christ the King to regain control of the school, because the institution has used its buildings for more than just a Catholic high school. The Diocese said that this violates a long-standing contract, but Christ the King said that agreement is void.

The board of Christ the King started to generate cash by opening up continuing education classes such as dance and Spanish, a day care and a preschool. Additionally, last year they started renting space to a public charter school last year, Middle Village Preparatory.

In the last three years the school has made about $3.7 million from these measures, according to Thomas Ognibene, the school’s lawyer. That money has gone to making repairs and underwriting tuition for students.

 

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Alumni fear for future of Christ the King High School following lawsuit


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Alumni and parents of current Christ the King High School (CK) students are blasting the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn after it filed a lawsuit against the institution last week.

The Diocese is suing the school to force the Board of Trustees to reaffirm an agreement that says the institution must remain a Catholic high school or relinquish control, which is a long-standing promise between the two parties.

However, people are seeing the move by the Catholic organization as a money grab and are afraid the Diocese might try to close the school.

“I was upset by it,” said Janet LaCava, a Christ the King alumna. “I think that CK has worked hard to make it a self-sustaining entity, and with so many schools closing, to possibly cause an excellent school to close when it is doing so well, does not make sense to me.”

In the mid-1970s CK was on the verge on closing due to financial problems, according to numerous sources close to the school. At that time the Diocese transferred control of the school to the Board, under the request that the school stay a Catholic high school. The members of the board, which were made up of parents, eventually returned the school from financial strains.

Presently, the Board has found a way to generate cash by opening up continuing education classes such as dance and Spanish, a day care and a preschool. Additionally, this year they started renting space to a public charter school, Middle School Preparatory. In the last three years the school, which costs about $9-10 million yearly to operate, has made about $3.7 million from these measures, according to Thomas Ognibene, the school’s lawyer.

That money has gone to making repairs and underwriting tuition for CK students.

The Diocese has said that it requires schools that have opened Charter schools donate 40 percent of rent revenue to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust, which helps disadvantaged students afford a Catholic elementary school education, and that CK has not complied. But Ognibene said that in July the Board agreed with the Diocese to a plan to pay more than $1.7 million over the next five years, which includes the 40 percent of rent revenue from the charter school.

Ognibene fears that the Diocese is planning to reacquire the school and close it.

“This is a very shallow plan by the Diocese,” he said. “There is no question in our minds that they want to close the school. They are clearly going out of the business of Catholic education.”

“We have said a 100 times that we have no intention to close the school,” said Marty McLaughlin, a spokesperson for the Diocese. “We love this school. Our question is what has been going on over there?”

Christ the King has until November 24 to reply to the lawsuit.

 

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