WXXI Local Stories
Wed December 23, 2009
Duffy Calls for City Takeover of School District
By Peter Iglinski
Rochester, NY – Rochester City Mayor Bob Duffy is calling for the city takeover of the city school district.
Duffy last week sent a letter to district leaders saying he has decided to push for consolidation.
Duffy says the future of the city--its children and families--depends on city government fully consolidating with the school district into one organization.
Duffy says the city contributes 73 percent of its tax levy to the school district, but has no authority or accountability over the schools. Duffy says the city and school district are aligned on achieving other goals--namely helping children, families and neighborhoods. And he says those goals cannot be achieved by working on parallel paths.
The proposal calls for a four year trial period and would need the approval of the state legislature and governor.
The mayor is not pleased with the district's graduation rate of nearly 50 percent. And he says most crimes in the city are committed by high school dropouts.
Duffy says the future of the city and its children depends on the alignment of the city and school district.
School Board President Malik Evans is concerned about the public losing voting rights. And he says voters should have a say in whether consolidation takes place.