RCSD students continue protests against teacher layoffs

Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For the second consecutive morning, students in the Rochester City School District took to the streets to protest proposed staffing cuts in the district.

RCSD students demonstrated outside of East High School and Monroe High School Tuesday morning.

Monday, World of Inquiry students marched from their school to the RCSD central offices, holding signs and chanting along the way.

Students at the School of the Arts, East High School, Wilson, World of Inquiry and several others participated in protests or walkouts on Monday morning to show their support for teachers.

On Friday, RCSD teachers and other employees received a notice of layoffs, warning them that their jobs are in jeopardy.

According to the teacher’s union, the proposed plan called for a lot of jobs to be cut — 152 teachers, 32 non-teaching employees, 22 paraprofessionals and 12 administrators.

The district is trying to make up for a $30 million budget shortfall caused by overspending.

RCSD teachers rallied on Thursday ahead of the board meeting. The school board will vote on the entire plan December 19.

Change.org petition to halt the midyear cuts has nearly 3,000 signatures as of 9 a.m. Monday.

One RCSD school board member says Monday’s protests won’t change her vote on the layoffs. In an email, school board member Cynthia Elliot said this:

“I think we need to wait and see how the restructuring is going to turn out.  It is not clear if our students will indeed be affected by the layoffs regardless of the response from students and teachers.  

We have a $30 million gap for last school year and a $30 million gap for the current year. We have no choice at this point. This is very difficult, but it is a decision that the board has to make. 

The protest and other reaction will probably not change my mind.”

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