RCSD superintendent fights for state funding in Albany

Updated: February 11, 2020 11:36 PM
Created: February 11, 2020 11:57 AM

ROCHESTER, N.Y (WHEC) — Rochester City School District Superintendent Terry Dade was back in Albany Tuesday morning.

Dade attended Tuesday's New York State Legislature 2020 budget hearing.


— Terry J. Dade (@TDade) February 11, 2020

His goal is to secure more state funding from Gov. Andrew Cuomo in order to properly support RCSD students.

According to Assemblyman Harry Bronson, Dade told lawmakers Tuesday, if the district does not get gap funding by the end of this budget cycle, the district will have to let 800 staff members go.

Last week, Dade told News10NBC next year's budget deficit will be $50 million to $60 million on top of the $35 million the district needs now to make payroll at the end of the school year.

While discussing a proposed $2 billion boost in education funding across New York on Tuesday, lawmakers and state education leaders addressed the financial crisis at the Rochester City School District.

Bronson: "In the context of the Rochester city school district if we don't do the $2 billion total increase, what's the impact going to be in the classroom for these students?"

Interim State Education Department Commissioner Shannon Tahoe: "I think it's going to be significant. We all know Rochester has severe financial challenges. The department's been supportive and we're working with the legislature and we'll work with all of you. I think they'll need severe financial assistance in these distressed times that they're having."

Dade returned to Rochester by Tuesday evening. He said his words weren't scare tactics.

"I gave that number as a way to paint a picture of what we could face if we don't get $35 million from Governor Cuomo," Dade said. "With the condensed time frame in the year, we're no longer talking about mid-year cuts, we're talking about cuts with a little over a quarter of the year remaining. That magnifies the staff reductions that would be needed to even be able to make payroll in June."

Dade says he believes that the answer from the governor will be positive, but it will come with serious strings attached, and Dade says he welcomes those strings.

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