Updated: December 05, 2019 11:32 PM
Created: December 05, 2019 10:56 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — More than 100 people stood outside Rochester City School District Headquarters holding signs and shouting chants to protest proposed teacher cuts in the district.
Superintendent Terry Dade has proposed the cuts as a part plan to close a $64 million budget gap.
The plan would cut 359 jobs including 152 teacher layoffs mid-year.
District officials say teachers losing their jobs could get letters starting Friday. That could mean some students like Monroe High School senior Bruno Trinea would return from winter break to a new teacher.
"It would be tough because I don’t know the way they teach and there could be a lot of complications," Trinea said.
Out of the 359 jobs set to be eliminated there are also administrators, paraprofessionals and civil service employees on the chopping block, but teachers are the largest group of layoffs.
Corrine Mundorff has been teaching in the district for 15 years. She says transitioning teachers mid-year would have a negative impact on students.
"To take an adult that they have come to trust and just rip them out of their lives is so disruptive," Mundorff said. "Our kids, all kids, but especially our kids thrive on consistency."
The group protesting outside of the district headquarters took their message inside to the Board of Education meeting. More than 30 people signed up to speak at the packed meeting. Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski says there's another way to fill the gap.
"Postpone everything until June by that time not only would you spare the disruption for kids but you would also buy the time to get additional funding from the state," Urbanski said. "We have good reason to believe if they apply for a spin up loan from the state, which is when you borrow from future aid that they would get approved."
Superintendent Terry Dade says that's a no go.
"What would the story be if that funding does not come through knowing our budget is not in the place it needs to be right now?" Dade said. "I have a responsibility to close this budget gap immediately."
The Board of Education must approve Dade's plan for layoffs to be finalized. Board President Van White says he's not ready to commit to a vote at this time.
"Just the other day we were given the names and the schools and the programs that they're associated with. I also asked for a listing of all employees and all titles at the central office," White said. "We're going to deliberate over the list the Superintendent gave us and come up with the best decision for our students and our families."
The board will vote at a meeting on Dec. 19.
Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company