RCSD’s CFO resigns, officials expecting cuts amid $30M budget shortfall

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Chief Financial Officer of the Rochester City School District, Everton Sewell, resigned as part of a Board of Education special audit meeting Tuesday night to address the recent budget issues.

This goes back to the $30 million shortfall in the city school budget. Superintendent Terry Dade said he expects cuts to come as a result of the deficit.

The process now is to figure out how this happened. Superintendent Terry Dade says after looking at audit reports, there were red flags that should have been raised well before the present. 

“Regarding our fund balance and our expenditures, and overspending for last school year,” said Dade.

Dade said one of the things they’ve struggled with is meeting the complex needs of students.

“How do you remain fiscally sound and responsible while also making sure we provide our students with what they need for a high-quality education?” Dade said.

He said that moving forward they need to budget appropriately, and cuts could factor into that include existing vacancies. 

“We made a commitment to our employees when they signed their contracts for this school year, and we need to do everything possible to adhere to those,” said Dade.

He said other factors will be weighed before considering laying off any RCSD positions. But, “that said, we have a large number we need to close in the months ahead, so we have some tough decisions to make as an RCSD family.”

When it comes to finding who is responsible for the budget shortfalls, School Board President Van White said now is not the time to talk about disciplinary matters.  “This Board of Education, this superintendent wants, and will have not finger pointing, but accountability,” said White.

This was a sentiment the superintendent echoed. 

“There are processes in place to make sure people are held accountable for what they’re supposed to be doing,” said Dade.

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