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Attorney: Catholic Schools Safe From Diocese Bankruptcy, For Now

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Aired 4/19/09

A leading San Diego bankruptcy attorney is calming the fears of some parents who may be wondering how the diocese bankruptcy may affect their child's private Catholic school. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

Attorney Pat Shea says parents don't have to worry, at least not yet. That's because school funding for San Diego Catholic Diocese programs and projects won't be impacted until a federal bankruptcy judge issues a final ruling in the case. And Shea says that could take some time to decide.

Shea : The operations of the debtor are left in tact, literally, throughout the case.

Even so, school programs and projects will most likely take a hit. The diocese supports about 45 elementary and high schools in San Diego County. Officials also had big plans to build three new high schools and bolster financial aid programs. Some parents worry some schools will have to close. But Shea says that's highly unlikely. He says bankruptcy judges generally believe individual parishes own schools, not the diocese.

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

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