State Comptroller says more RCSD cuts needed, district says not so fast

Education

Superintendent Dade says state report does not reflect current situation

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — First it was a budget crisis of $30 million for the Rochester City School District.

Now the State Comptroller’s Office in Albany is recommending more cutbacks and forecasting a gap of $40.5 million.

However, Superintendent Terry Dade says those suggestions were made based off of a November 12 report. He says a lot has happened since then

MORE | How RCSD got here: Timeline of events in district’s budget crisis

“We believe the final figures will look a bit different than what was reported by the State Comptroller’s Office,” says Dade.

Dade says with those comments in the Comptroller’s letter are largely assumptions, and they’ve been working hard to remedy the current budget gap. 

“We’re still lobbying aggressively for at least $25 million dollars to close our existing deficit this year. We’re very confident that we can make the adjustments necessary with $25 million dollar support.”

The district’s new Chief Financial Officer, Robert Franklin, says even though the Comptroller’s office used November 12 as a starting point for their report, it might have been a positive thing. It helped to further illustrate possible problem areas within the district. 

“This is a forward-looking projection to June 30, 2020. The State Comptroller is typically engaged to look back in time, not forward,” says Franklin.

Dade says there are other cost-saving measures in place, but it’s still too early to assume anything. He says right now, it’s about spending wisely and taking care of the kids. 

“(It’s) How do we actually utilize funding in a strategic and smart manner to make sure our students are getting the education they deserve,” says Dade.

Dade also talked about expanding Pre-Kindergarten programs and revitalizing two schools, Franklin and Monroe, to bring more students back into the district.

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