Many Catholic schools are having difficult financial times right now and basketball coach for St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, Bob Hurley, told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the school is now running a campaign called St. Anthony 2020 to raise enough money to keep the school operating until 2020, with a fundraising goal of $10 million.
Hurley said the reason the school is struggling is because of the difference between how much it costs to educate a child and how much tuition costs. He said the deficit is about $1.5 million.
“You want the education to stay the same but you want to keep the values of the schools. Now you are paying salaries for everybody at school,” Hurley said.
The school’s basketball team has won four national championships and Hurley is one of two male high school coaches in the country to be in the National Basketball Hall of Fame.
“There has been 100 percent college acceptance from the student body for 20 straight years so that number means that the kids leaving school are prepared for the next step in life. Only two kids in 40 years did not go to college from the basketball team,” Hurley said.
If St. Anthony’s had to close, its students would go to other inner city schools. Hurley said that the teachers at those schools are good, but the numbers are not the same as at St. Anthony’s so they cannot be compared.
“From the time I started, so many schools have closed. One of the most important things I could do is in some way help to keep the school open longer so we can influence kids for a little bit longer,” Hurley said.
With the St. Anthony 2020 campaign, the school hopes to raise money to keep the school open until 2020. Hurley said if the goal is met then he would absolutely stay at the school as a coach.
“The only thing I’ve ever done is coach at St. Anthony’s so it is a safer bet that I would finish here. There is pride that you have looking at kids that come in and graduate and go on,” Hurley said.