WXXI AM News

RCSD Interim Superintendent Anticipates Budget Gap

Nov 21, 2011

Rochester's interim city school superintendent is talking budget gap - and what the district is going to do to make up for the shortfall. 

Interim Superintendent, Dr. Bolgen Vargas, says as revenues shrink, expenditures are increasing in the area of health care and other benefits. 

Vargas says this all contributes to the city school district's projected $41 million gap. And he adds there's continued pressure on the District's budget from charter schools in the city - which receive a portion of the school system's revenue. 

To help tackle the problem he says he plans to use $20 million from the District's appropriated fund balance to apply to next year's budget. 

For the remaining $21 million, Vargas says he's planning for strong advocacy at the state level among other things, "Asking families, stakeholders, to please contact their Albany representatives to make sure that the district at least receives some additional dollars for next year. I'm also planning to be more efficient in the use of our space." 

Vargas proposes closing School 6. He says since enrollment is declining in the district there's no need to continue investing in more buildings and space when the funding could be invested in student programs and services.

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