ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two bills proposed by New York State Sen. Rich Funke would significantly alter the organization of the Rochester City School District.
One proposal, Bill S6756, would direct RCSD to conduct a referendum regarding the suspension of the school board.
If approved, the superintendent would “assume administrative and budgetary decisions for the district in consultation with the department of education, for a period of five years.”
Another proposal, Bill S6755, would authorize a “monitor” for the district.
If approved, it would “authorize a state monitor for the Rochester City School District to provide direct oversight of the fiscal policies, practices, programs and decisions of such school district.”
These proposals were introduced in the aftermath of a $30 million budget shortfall that the district is currently working through.
“These are the things that keep me up at night” said RCSD Superintendent Terry Dade said during a press conference last week. “Making significant cuts while still serving our students and giving them the education they deserve.”
An email sent to district staff members Thursday afternoon said “preliminary findings indicate certain areas where the district overspent” including:
- Employee benefits
- Teacher substitutes
- Tuition (Charter)
- Retirement benefits
- Contract Transportation
In the week after the district first announced the budget gap:
- State and federal lawmakers have requested investigations.
- Mayor Warren requested that the city sever financial ties with the district.
- Comptroller DiNapoli announced he will be auditing the district
- RCSD school board member Beatriz Lebron has asked for board. President Van White to step down from his leadership position while another board member, Commissioner Judith Davis, has called for his resignation from the board outright.
Full press conference with Terry Dade:
Rochester City Council is holding an “emergency meeting” Monday afternoon to discuss the district’s finance issues.