Student protests continue as school board vote on pending teacher layoffs approaches
Students throughout the Rochester City School District continue to stage protests to try to spare teachers from layoffs amid a budget crisis.
More than 150 teaching jobs are scheduled to be eliminated under a proposalfrom Superintendent Terry Dade to close a projected $64.8 million deficit.
Hundreds of students marched on the sidewalks and spilled into Broad Street outside the district's central office Monday morning.
"I think people are paying attention to us, and I think that's the most important thing, that we're raising awareness," said Siobhan Wossord, who attends School 58. "I think it's important for students to realize and acknowledge that teacher cuts are directly affecting us and it's not benefiting an already failing district."
Nearby, East High School senior Madison Smith shouted into a megaphone that students are demanding that New York state make up for a shortage in state aid. The Alliance for Quality Education says the Rochester district is owed $86 million more than it receives.
"The governor and the state are 100% responsible," Smith told the crowd, "and we will go to Albany and we will demand that money and save our teachers!"
Some student groups are collecting donations for an Albany trip through GoFundMe accounts.
More protests are planned throughout the week by students, parents, and teachers. A parent march is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday from Parcel 5 to Central Office before the 5:30 school board meeting.
The board is expected to vote on Dade's budget plan on Thursday evening. Prior to that meeting, members of the Rochester Teachers Association are expected to stage a rally.