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Statement from Interim-Superintendent Romeo Rodriguez regarding Catholic Schools

Friday, February 9, 2018

Regarding some confusion and misunderstandings about Our Lady of Guadalupe School, the following statement has been prepared by Interim- Superintendent, Romeo Rodriguez, to share in his compassion, create transparency, and clarify misunderstandings.

The Diocese of Laredo and Bishop Tamayo in particular, believe in catholic education and are committed to having the catholic schools throughout the diocese achieve excellence in academic standards and standards for faith and personal development of our students.

Bishop Tamayo attended Catholic elementary schools through the sacrifice of his mother and father, both working full time, to send his sister and himself to Catholic schools. Bishop Tamayo is from a middle class family. His sister, by the sacrifice and commitment of his parents was able to attend catholic schools from 1st grade to high school graduation. Unfortunately, the tuition cost for his family was high and when Bishop Tamayo reached the l0'h grade, he transferred and graduated from the public school system.

The education Bishop received in Catholic schools enabled him to succeed through college and respond to a religious vocation as a priest. Bishop Tamayo's leadership has never wavered in his gratitude to parents who sacrifice to send their children to catholic schools and he has always expressed his sincere gratitude to the principals and faculty of each catholic school in the diocese.

Mention was made of the financial security of Our Lady of Guadalupe School. Also, mentioned that the Diocese of Laredo and Bishop Tamayo are not concerned about the situation. Nothing can be further from the truth.

The Diocese has hired a consultant to do an evaluation of the schools to assist in determining the future course of the school. This study is a collaborative effort with school administrators, faculty, parents & community. No decision has been made, and every option is being reviewed. All this being done with the hope of strengthening our Catholic schools.

A few years back, Bishop Tamayo was made aware of the low enrollment and how the school might be in danger of closing. Bishop Tamayo, working with the Diocese' Catholic School Office stated clearly that he did not want the school to close and expressed the importance this school has for its families and the community. Bishop Tamayo urged other Catholic schools to ask parents to consider registering their children at Our Lady of Guadalupe School.

Thanks to everyone's efforts, the school has remained open. This summer 2017, Bishop Tamayo was made aware that Our Lady of Guadalupe School did not have sufficient funds to pay faculty or meet the budget for the end of school year 2016-2017. It was the Diocese & the Bishop who facilitated that Our Lady of Guadalupe School receive $100,000 from diocesan funds in the past 3 years to assist in the school's continuation. At that time, the School was informed that they must do everything they can working with parents and the community to keep the school open and financially viable. It is the responsibility of each Catholic school to create a budget, to promote student enrollment and to remain financially solvent.

The Diocese of Laredo supports each Catholic school but, as in every city throughout the Catholic Church, it is the dependability of the parents, alumni, and the community that assures each Catholic school remains viable in its mission to its community.

I hope this clears up the negative and misleading implications that the Diocese or Bishop Tamayo is unconcerned with challenges faced by Our Lady of Guadalupe School. May this be an opportunity to call all people of goodwill to assist, with their time, talent and treasure. Each catholic school is a blessing to us and each school needs your help.


Romeo Rodriguez
Interim- Superintendent
Catholic Schools - Diocese of Laredo