Many Rochester City Council members cast symbolic vote against school budget

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester City Council voted on the more than $1 billion Rochester City School District budget. It’s the first time ever the district budget has topped a billion dollars.

In a symbolic vote with no bearing on the outcome, many City Council members opposed the district’s spending plan. Councilmember Michael Paterson was one of them.

“When you’ve got a billion dollars and 92 percent of my kids can’t read … and you can’t tell me how much you are planning on spending to correct this problem, I can’t stop it or change it. But I sure as hell don’t have to co sign it,” Paterson said.

The district superintendent says the budget is balanced, aligned, and targeted. He also says it moves the district closer to fiscal stability.

City Council also voted to approve the mayor’s $675 million city budget in a close vote: 5 to 4.