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Vargas "Encouraged" By State Aid Increase For Education

Rochester School Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says he is encouraged by the aid levels contained in the new state budget. The details of the state's overall $1.4 billion increase in education funding were just released Tuesday. Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle says the Rochester city school district will receive $543 million in state aid in the upcoming school year, a $32 million increase over the previous year. Vargas says that when the proposed aid for turnaround efforts is included, he...
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Sasha-Ann Simons / The Innovation Trail

Jensen Caraballo has spinal muscular atrophy type 2, and he's used a wheelchair since he was a kid. He's also on a fixed income.

Though Rochester, New York often ranks high on lists of cities with the most affordable housing in the United States, for Caraballo, affordability isn't his only criteria.

"You know, if they're accessible there just not affordable and if they're affordable there just not integrated with everyone else.”

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York lawmakers have passed a $142 billion state spending plan that includes new spending on schools, changes in teacher evaluations and new ethics disclosure rules for lawmakers.

The Senate passed the budget late Tuesday night and the Assembly wrapped up early Wednesday morning, just after the start of a new state fiscal year.

Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, April 1st

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First hour: Climate change and the Great Filter

Second hour: RMSC's Science on the Edge

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Governor Cuomo and lawmakers finalized deals on education and ethics and were on track to pass the budget by the midnight deadline.

Legislators began passing the final budget bills in the late afternoon, with only a few hours left until the deadline.

The final sticking points of the spending plan, resolved Tuesday, include a new teacher evaluation plan and changes to teacher tenure.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Addressing Rochester Rotarians on Tuesday, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman said that  K-12 education is in crisis.

Seligman says graduation rates in inner cities across the country are tragically low, and that the achievement gap costs the U.S. billions of dollars a year. Just as importantly, he says, failed opportunities follow a student forever.                       

"Every student who doesn't graduate, potentially, is losing the opportunity for a rewarding and full life."

Rochester School Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says he is encouraged by the aid levels contained in the new state budget.

The details of the state's overall $1.4 billion increase in education funding were just released Tuesday.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle says the Rochester city school district will receive $543 million in state aid in the  upcoming school year, a $32 million increase over the previous year.

Officials with the Blackfriars Theatre in Rochester say that after 35 years as Artistic Director, John Haldoupis will retire at the end of the season on June 30. His position will be filled by Associate Artistic Director Danny Hoskins, who will be Artistic and Managing Director as of July 1.

Hoskins is an actor, director, educator and playwright.

On Tuesday, the 65-year old theater company also unveiled the plays for the 2015-2016 season:

A FEW GOOD MEN: Sept. 4 – 26, 2015 by Aaron Sorkin / Directed by Danny Hoskins

The Rochester area unemployment rate fell in February. Officials say it's part of a positive trend.

The unemployment rate for the Rochester metro in February was six percent, down from 6.9 percent at this time last year. State Labor Analyst Tammy Marino says this area has seen steady growth in the job market over the last several years.

"Unemployment rate's still slightly elevated from where we were before the recession, but again it is the lowest level for the month of February since before the onset of the recession."

A first-of-its-kind study shows that achieving the goal of an 80% screening rate for people age 50 and older by 2018 would have a substantial impact against colorectal cancer – the third leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the U.S. We're looking at colon cancer and answering our listeners' questions with our guests:

  • Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein, gastroenterologist for Rochester Regional Health System
  • Jason Coleman, American Cancer Society
  • Dr. Alvaro Carrascal, Vice President of Health Systems in New York and New Jersey for the American Cancer Society

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