Rochester, New York – A state monitor ordered The Rochester City School District to rework its plans by next week.
After years of poor financial management led to a bailout from New York in 2020 totaling $35 million, The Rochester City School District was assigned a state monitor.
“Adhere to the district’s budget constraints and stop irresponsible spending, reduce borrowing over the next five years, collect all money owed to the district and eliminate practices that continue to the growing budget deficit,” said Dr. Shelley Jallow during a Board of Education meeting on March 24th.
Criticisms continued looking at the 2022-23 school year budget proposal. Budgets have typically been in the mid-to-upper $900 million range.
“Now that the district finds itself the recipient of historic infusions of state aid and federal funding…through COVID relief grants, it is vitally important the district establish and maintain fund balance to protect against future unanticipated expenditures or possible revenue shortfalls,” Dr. Jallow added during the meeting.
“Now that you’ve got the money, spend it on counselors, school psychologists to help our children who are recovering from 2, 2.5-year trauma with COVID,” emphasized Adam Urbanski, President of the Rochester Teacher’s Association.
The district responded with a statement, which reads as follows:
“The District has received Dr. Jallow’s review and has been working to address the issues identified. We have made strides in some areas, and recognize there is still much work to be done. We are working diligently to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education while addressing some long-standing systemic issues that have plagued the District for far too long.”
The district has been told by the state monitor to rework the budget proposal and submit any changes, including all amendments, for public review by April 7th.
“The health of the City depends on the quality of schools and the quality of schools is enhanced if you spend whatever additional resources you have on the children, directly. Not on central office and the bureaucracy,” adds Urbanski.
On Thursday, April 14th, the public budget hearing will take place at 5:30 p.m.