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St. Bede School in Ingleside to close despite half a million dollars raised for funding

INGLESIDE, Ill. — The fate of St. Bede School in Ingleside has been decided.

Despite a fundraising campaign that raised thousands of dollars, Rev. George Koeune, pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish and St. Bede School, announced Thursday that the school will close its doors at the end of the academic year.

Low enrollment for the new school year was the blame.

“As of March 19, 119 students had registered for next year whereas the parish and school had set an enrollment target of 182,” the announcement read.

The decision to close St. Bede School was made on the evening of March 19 after alums and community members raised more than $500,000 upon notice of its potential closure.

According to the fundraiser page, the money raised was needed to cover “the operating deficit for the next school year, which includes salaries and benefits for the amazing and dedicated teachers and staff.”

St. Bede School administrators informed families late last year that if $400,000 was not raised by Jan. 26, the Archdiocese of Chicago would potentially close the school. Not only did the GoFundMe reach its initial goal with days to spare, donations totaled $504,962.

“The loss of the state Invest in Kids scholarship program created a feeling of uncertainty for the school’s future that could not be overcome—even by an incredible fundraising effort,” Koeune said in a letter to the parish and school.

Read the full letter below:

The Ingleside Catholic school was founded in 1958.

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