The Rochester City School District is looking to implement substantial budget cuts to deal with the current financial situation.
Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small outlined the changes during an update she provided to the Board of Education’s Finance Committee on Tuesday evening.
Myers-Small outlined what the district says is a conservative approach to spending and talked about a structural budget deficit projected at $59.3 million during this fiscal year and a budget gap for the 2021-22 school year projected at $74 million.
Late last week, the RCSD received notification that it would potentially face a 20% cut in state funding, totaling $128 million; cuts in food and transportation services funding are projected at over $6 million.
For weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pushing for more federal aid to states and localities, saying without that aid, there could be 20% cuts in state aid to education, municipalities and hospitals.
On Tuesday, Myers-Small announced the district is taking immediate action including imposing:
-20% budget reductions for all departments and schools (that includes furloughs and a hiring freeze as well as freezing out of town travel)
-Implementation of internal controls
-Review of fiscal practices & commitments
-Creating new opportunities for greater fiscal oversight
Myers-Small says that she and her administration are taking all necessary steps, however uncomfortable they may be, to restore the financial stability of the district.