Church in state! Bishop Ford to close after 52 years

The Bishop Ford boys' basketball team made a surprise run at the championship this year, but fell in the final.

Bishop Ford High School, a 52-year-old Windsor Terrace Catholic academy, will close its doors at the end of the school year in June.

The closure, announced on Monday, is due to declining enrollment and income, administrators said.

“There has not been a sufficient revenue stream other than tuition, which alone cannot support the operation,” said principal Thomas Arria in a statement. “Thus, it was determined that, despite Herculean efforts on the part of many people, the school was just not sustainable.”

Arria said that the rolls at Bishop Ford have shrunk from 1,347 to 499 in the past eight years, and that the school expected to have just 422 students next year. The principal promised to help place those pupils at other parochial schools in the borough.

“We have asked that other Catholic high schools in the area give special consideration to Bishop Ford students who may be enrolling next school year,” said Arria.

“We intend to meet with each family to ensure that students are placed in a school environment which will best meet their academic and personal needs.”

State Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) blamed the closure on the blocked passage of the Education Investment Tax Credit in the state Assembly, which would have dramatically increased the tax benefit from donations to fund scholarships at private schools.

“The sad truth today is the failure to pass the Education Investment Tax Credit was the final straw on this school. There is no doubt in my mind that the tax credit would have made a difference here,” said Golden.

Ford was known for its athletics program, and served as the location for music videos by artists as diverse as Drake and R.E.M. The school also recently made headlines after a video of break-dancing teacher Michael Satira went viral.

Famous alumni include Peter Nash, better known as “Prime Minister Pete Nice” of the early-1990s rap group 3rd Bass, which produced two gold albums, 1989’s “The Cactus Album” and 1991’s “Derelicts of Dialect.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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