RCSD Superintendent: ‘Tough decisions’ coming to prevent future overspending

Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester City School Disirict officials met publicly Tuesday to discuss their plans on how to fix the budget shortfall.

“Tough decisions were presented today,” said RCSD Superintendent Terry Dade.

Dade gave his proposals on how to prevent another fiscal mess for the district in 2020.

There is now a plan in place, school board approved, that includes reductions to health care, cash capital, and things like extended learning day. But the cut proposal with the most attention, is the possible staff reduction at five percent, equal to about $10 million.

“Some will be going through (and cutting) vacancies, but there will be layoffs moving forward. I will not allow us to overspend this year,” said Dade.

John Pavone with the Rochester Teacher’s Association, said Dade promised to make the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible.

The proposed five percent staff reduction is, “Unacceptable. We understand that he came here and he didn’t create the problem, he inherited it,” said Pavone.

Pavone was hoping central office would get hit rather than the teachers. 

“168 teaching positions and 18 administrators is not as far away from the classroom as possible,” said Pavone.

There will still a budget gap in the millions of dollars. Dade says they are also going to lobby the state for additional funding. When it comes to staff cuts, Dade said they still have to do their homework to figure out that process. 

“Next we’ll be moving forward on that list of $28 million that I put forward. Those are not impacting personnel,” said Dade.

School Board President Van White said Tuesday’s meeting was about ensuring expenditures, equal resources. 

“The Superintendent said, ‘let’s look at the cash flow now’. This is our attempt to be responsive and get ahead of it,” said White.

Dade said he will not have a “Groundhog Day” repeat next year when it comes to overspending. 

“This is an issue we have to take care of by June 2020,” says Dade.

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