ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As a new budget for Rochester City Schools passes, parents are figuring out what nearly a billion dollars​​ mean for their child.

Following the budget’s passing, superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small and board president Cynthia Elliott provided an on-camera break-down for families. 

“We are adding more social workers, increasing capacity for Roc Restorative, and increasing school health services,” said Elliott.

Some highlights address concerns we’ve heard for months.

“I am happy to say that we have included an additional $3 million dollars in food service to upgrade meal options for hot meals for students,” said Elliott.

Some parents say there isn’t enough detail.

Parent Eamonn Scanlonn, also with the Children’s Agenda, said it all sounds good, but transparency has been lacking — starting with revenue breakdown.

“We’ve seen some good things in the federal money, that is really encouraging but that is 1/8 of the budget and so we need the other 7/8 to be clearer to understand what the full picture is,” said Scanlon.

A draft book on the district website breaks down funding from federal aid, versus state, city, and so on.

But Scanlon said this is where parents have been getting lost.

“We can’t pull out simple things, like how many kindergarten teachers are there going to be, how many counselors, special ed teachers; that level of detail is absent and that wasn’t true in the past,” he said.

Scanlon is also viewing the situation from the lens of an education policy director. With the Children’s Agenda, he’s been studying the district’s budget for five years.

“I’m very well aware of the fiscal challenges,” he said. “I have a bit more of an in-depth perspective but also as a parent, I care deeply the district is run well.”

In the end, he says a budget is better than no budget. 

If this was delayed, Scanlon says it could affect summer school and other programs.

But it’s a start. Scanlon says hopefully, more will be revealed soon.

“We don’t know the full detail, and that’s what’s concerning,” he said.

While the budget has been passed, it will head to the city council for review in June.

Jallow said Tuesday this budget has come a long way, but Albany will be watching closely how this spending pans out.

Commissioner Beatriz LeBron said she voted against the budget due to a lack of transparency.

“Voting tonight should not be this difficult,” LeBron said before the vote. “When we’re voting on almost a billion dollars, we should know exactly how this budget is serving students and families, and unfortunately it lacks that transparency, especially this year.”

Stevie Vargas with the Alliance for Quality Education says something’s lacking. “But what we have seen is a lack of robust collaboration with community members,” she said.

Vargas feels parents and the community should be more involved in where dollars are going. “We really want to make sure that we are making this district a restorative district,” Vargas said.

You can view the district’s full response here.