ROCHESTER, N.Y (WROC) — We have a deeper dive into the No Confidence vote from Rochester Teachers regarding Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small’s response to safety on RCSD (Rochester City School District) campuses after they conducted a survey and passed a resolution. The results show a high number of RCSD teachers are worried for their own and students’ safety.
It revolves around student and teacher safety while in school. More than 1100 teachers answered 10 questions asking if they agreed or disagreed with Dr. Lesli Myers-Small’s plans and reactions to this matter. About nine out of ten said they do not support them.
One of the biggest factors more than 98% of RCSD teachers contributed to the violent outbreaks in schools is staffing shortages. Due to more teachers resigning throughout this year, according to their union.
“Only a few months into the school year there are already 102 resignations of teachers,” RTA President Adam Urbanski told us. “So the district by their inaction and by not making schools safe is losing students and teachers.”
Superintendent Dr. Myers-Small declined to interview about this no-confidence vote, but in a statement said “My team and I have been engaged in a partnership with all of our union leaders. We are actively present at our schools and interact with many students, teachers, and staff in our District.” RTA President Urbanski hasn’t seen those words put into action.
“We are calling on her to actually do something to make our schools safe,” President Urbanski demanded. “To stop being in denial, and to stop substituting empty rhetoric for real action.”
Since being approved to receive $87 Million from the State Department of Education in Coronavirus Response and Relief Funds, the Superintendent’s office said in a release they will use this to expand the second step social and emotional curriculum. They’re also waiting to be approved for 197 from the American Rescue Plan to hire more than 70 mental health and safety support staff. But President Urbanski argues the money is already there.
“Between the state and the federal government, they received newly $400 million more,” President Urbanski claimed. “And they’re spending some of that money to beef up central office but not at the school level.”
In total, more than 93% of Teachers in the Rochester City School District indicated they have no confidence in the Superintendents response and plan to school safety. Dr. Lesli Myers-Small also wrote in her statement She’s not deterred by this action by RTA and is always open to continuous improvement and feedback.
When asked if Dr. Lesli Myers-Small should resign, RTA President Adam Urbanski replied “no”. But wants the union’s proposals to be investigated more instead of being ignored. They also disagree with the district’s recent plans to merge and close certain schools.