‘Very hard work ahead’: RCSD adjusting after state aid falls through

Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester City School District Superintendent Terry Dade said there is very hard work ahead for the district.

The district is facing a total $80 million budget deficit after news they’ll be getting $20 million less for next year’s budget than expected from New York State.

Dade met with the Board of Education on Tuesday to talk about ways to fill the gaps. He said some of the ideas presented were repeats, but others are new, more complex solutions including furloughs, no raises, and cutting employees in areas like the central office and food service. Existing contracts and transportation were also brought up.

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

The district is safe from addition cuts this school year after receiving $35 million from the state. But getting $20 million less for next years puts them at that total $80 million deficit.

Back in March, Dade presented his budget proposal for the 2020-2021 school year which proposed laying off 230 positions. 190 of those would be teachers. On Wednesday, Dade said he told Teacher’s Union President Adam Urbanski it’s his hope to keep those cuts low.

Dade said around 250 teachers each year leave by choice — either retiring or resigning.

“That number based on our past history is around 250 teachers each and every year if I can keep our reduction in the teaching staff at or slightly above that level I think we would be in pretty good shape moving forward so that’s my hope. There may be additional layoffs, I just haven’t crunched all the numbers yet at this time,” Dade said.

Dade said if the hadn’t received that $35 million from the state, which he called a blessing, he’d be making decisions about laying off hundreds of staff members in the next few months. But he said he will balance this budget one way or another.

Despite the closures due to COVID-19, Dade said the school is still hard at work to provide Chromebooks to all students in grades 6th through 12.

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