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Community members weigh in on RCSD budget

April 11, 2019 11:14 PM

ROCHESTER, N. Y. (WHEC) -- Dozens of students, parents, teachers and other community members piled into the Rochester City School District board meeting for their last chance to weigh in on the proposed budget.  

The Rochester City School District Board of Education will soon vote on a $925 million budget.

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Facing a potential budget gap, board officials released a draft budget that would cut money to several programs and services while eliminating more than 300 positions.

Shannon Henderson's job as a home school assistant in attendance could be cut.

"If they cut my position and our jobs, who is going to make these home visits to these students...who is going to call these parents to let them know their child is absent?" Henderson asked.

Henderson says there are 20 people in her department but the proposed budget cuts them in half, leaving only 10 people to do all the work.

"That would leave the remainder of us having anywhere from five to six schools each and that's a lot," Henderson said.

Special education administrators and services in that department are also facing cuts.

Parent leader Rebecca Perez says she's concerned these cuts could impact a student's individualized education plan or IEP.

"When you feel like your child isn't receiving the education that they're entitled to it's frustrating and you feel as though they're seen as not having quite the potential that matters," Perez said.

Rochester City School District Board President Van White says the budget process is about halfway over, but board members have already found ways to restore proposed cuts.

"Some of the restorations that people we're calling for have already been made, so the good news is they will hear that down the road," White said. "What made that possible is we had significant retirements and state money came through."

There are two more budget deliberation hearings where the board will hash it out among themselves and eventually vote on the budget.

After the board finalizes their budget, Rochester City Council must vote to approve it.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the district office.

Credits

Kaci Jones

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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