Emergency financial aid may be coming to RCSD

Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Emergency financial aid for the Rochester City School District could be on its way.

This week, RCSD Superintendent Terry Dade met with lawmakers to lobby for the money — but school board leaders are hesitating because of the conditions that could come with it.

Dade says the district is $65 million in debt it accrued over the last two school years.

Thursday, Assemlyman David Gantt released a statement giving the thumbs up for $35 million in emergency aid for the district, but it comes with a condition.

“I will support $35 million in emergency aid only if legislation is enacted that creates a strong fiscal and academic monitor that is selected by the New York State education commissioner and the mayor of Rochester,” Gantt said.

Gantt says the monitor must have power to override school board decisions that put the district’s finances at risk. But that concept doesn’t sit well with Rochester School Board President, Van White.

“To appoint one person with veto power, I think would be dangerous and jeopardize this progress that we’ve seen,” White said, speaking about the school’s graduation rate. “It wasn’t one person who did this; it was a community of people who did this, including the board of education, so their graduation rate has increased 30 percentage points.”

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