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More layoffs on the table as RCSD faces another budget deficit

Andrew Hyman
Created: March 26, 2020 11:34 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Another massive round of cuts in the Rochester City School District are on the table as the district aims to balance a project $61 million budget deficit for next school year.

During a teleconferenced board of education meeting Thursday night, Superintendent Terry Dade presented the first draft for the 2020-2021 budget.

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Click here for the full draft.

On the list of potential cost-cutting moves are:

  • 236 staffing cuts (including 192 teachers)
  • $7.0 million in special education staffing cuts
  • Closing of Bilingual Language and Literacy Academy
  • Closing of Young Mothers & Interim Health Academy
  • $2.9 million in Central Office Reductions
  • Dropping grades K-5 at the Rochester International Academy (RIA)

"I just want to make it clear that this is not fun for me," Dade said.

The district is still confident it will receive $35 million in emergency funding from New York State to help it climb out of its current financial hole, which has already resulted in teacher cuts.

"This will be a terrible blow to our students at a very difficult time." said Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski

Urbanski says he’s continued to help push for the emergency funding from the state, and sees promise in a projected $4.5 million in additional state aid. But, with the coronavirus pressing the state financially, Dade says nothing is guaranteed.

Both Dade and Urbanski say teacher retirements and resignations could help avoid some of the layoffs.

"We have to work together to try to remedy this, or at least alleviate it the best that we can," Urbanski said.

As for the other cuts, Dade says it will be up to the school board to help suggest ways to save money.

"It's going to be a tough road, but I know that we're going to work together to make sure that we don't have groundhog day in September of 2020," Dade said.

Urbanski says the RTA should get a complete breakdown of the teacher cuts on Friday.


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