WXXI AM News

City school budget proposal adds teachers, services for students

Mar 28, 2018

The Rochester Board of Education will be considering a City School District budget proposal that includes hiring 132 additional teachers and using much of its savings to close a $65 million dollar gap.

City School Board President Van White says the district is required to balance its budget, and the additional teachers are needed as enrollment increases for the 2018-19 school year.

"The more caring adults and committed adults connecting with children, the better the outcomes will be.  It's not just about putting more money into Central Office.  These are teachers who are in the buildings, social workers who are in the buildings, literacy instructors that are in the buildings.  These kinds of supports are essential if our children are to be successful," he said.

Credit rcsdk12.org

White notes that hundreds of students from Puerto Rico are coming into the district, and finding enough certified bilingual teachers, while other districts are looking for the same thing, will be a challenge.

Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski says the city school superintendent is proposing more services for students, not fewer services, and they are specifically targeting the most vulnerable students. And all this as the district has apparently found a way to close a $65 milliion dollar gap.

"I would say that this is the most student-friendly budget that I can recall," he said.

Urbanski says the district is responding to the need to educate the huge influx of students from Puerto Rico and special education students, plus adding behavioral specialists to help keep students in school.

There will be public hearings on the City school Budget April 10th and 25th.

The Board of Education will consider the proposal in May.