RCSD layoff plan: 152 teachers, 32 non-teachers, 12 administrators and more

Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester City School District has plans to lay off 152 teachers, 32 non-teaching employees, 22 paraprofessionals and 12 administrators, according to Rochester Teachers Association president Adam Urbanski.

This announcement comes as the district is currently working to fix a $30 million budget shortfall. Superintendent Terry Dade has himself publicly endorsed staffing cuts for the district.

Dade himself was only a few months into the job when this situation first became public. The district’s Chief Financial Officer recently resigned, was replaced by the current Monroe County CFO, and two deputy superintendent positions was consolidated into one.

Still, there’s a long way to go to close the budget gap, and teachers remain concerned.

On Monday, the federal government started an investigation into the financial problems at RCSD, which comes in addition to audits at the state level from comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

“Although we still do not know which teachers will be laid off, affected teachers are supposed to get their notices from their principals this Friday,” Urbanski wrote. “The mid-year layoffs, if enforced as planned, will have an adverse impact on all of us and on our students.”

In response to the district’s layoff plans, RCSD teachers are preparing for a rally against the cuts. Teachers gathered Tuesday night to make protest signs for their demonstration Thursday, in which they will urge the Board of Education to implement the current proposed plan.

“The reality is when you take five, six, seven teachers in special ed, in ESL, in math, in science — out of a building and lay them off, those students are still there,” Teacher and Chair of RTA Action Committee Michael Tobin said.

Superintendent Terry Dade has previously promised to limit staff reductions to 5% — but the Teachers Association says that’s still too high and will have a negative impact on students.

“Do they end up in a class that’s now doubled? Do they move themselves to a new school to accommodate placement?” Tobin said. “Those are all challenging decision. Those are the type of things that when these cuts happen, those are going to be where the real pain is felt.”

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