Proposal to add two new RCSD pre-K centers


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The proposal to add two new pre-K centers in the city of Rochester will be voted on by the school board this week.

The district hopes to address the long-standing issue of declining enrollment by modeling successful early childhood education centers in other cities.

Superintendent Terry Dade wants to repeat success from the early childhood education center off North Clinton Avenue to other parts of the city.

By doing so, he believes they can address the issues of the drop in enrollment. Dade’s plan is to re-purpose and turn School 44 in the south side and School 57 in the northwest zone to early childhood education centers.

MORE: RCSD superintendent: 20-21 deficit is $55-60 million

Dade said at both the centers, they’ll be able to provide wrap around care starting as early as 6:45 a.m. Some are concerned about the proposal. Some community based organizations already provide the types of services for children and working parents. They’re afraid some of their seats will be taken away.

“What actually will happen is much more transparency around how we utilize this criteria, what about CBOs and pre-K offerings in RCSD, how they measure up to move forward,” Dade said.

“So it would be fairly quickly after the vote and will be able to determine how many seats would be coming from a variety of CBOs moving forward.”

The cost of this could be in the ballpark of $35 million. Dade said funding for these new early childhood education centers will be through state and federal geared for pre-K programs.

The vote for the proposal will be this Thursday. Dade is planning to head back to Albany on Monday to lobby for more funding. He’s urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve emergency funding to help close a multi-million dollar budget deficit.

MORE: How RCSD got here: Timeline of events in district’s budget crisis

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