WXXI AM News

RCSD teacher layoffs by the numbers: What kind of teachers, and where they are

Dec 8, 2019

The Rochester School Board heard from 37 teachers, staff, and parents, all of whom spoke against proposed layoffs, during its meeting last Thursday.
Credit Gino Fanelli / CITY Newspaper

The Rochester City School District's plan to lay off more than 200 workers, most of them teachers, has stakeholders in the system wondering which schools will see the brunt of the cuts.

The district has already broken down the proposed layoffs by position, but not by school. The layoffs include 12 administrators; 22 paraprofessionals; 32 support-staff workers, such as secretaries, bus drivers, and security guards; and 152 teachers.

In addition, according to the Rochester Teachers Association, another 182 teachers will be "displaced," meaning they will either be relocated to a new school to fill vacancies left by the outgoing teachers, or remain in their schools in a new capacity.

"The disruption to students is the same as if the teacher were laid off," union president Adam Urbanski said. "Either way, students get a different teacher. The whole key to effective teaching is to develop relationships with students."

Urbanksi said the union figured 8,500 students – about a third of the district's entire student body – would lose at least one teacher under the plan. Of the district's 49 schools and 11 special programs, 42 are projected to lose at least one teacher, according to the union.

The union has dubbed the impending layoffs "The Christmas Massacre."

The Board of Education is expected to vote on whether to approve the layoffs on December 19. Teachers, parents, and students have planned demonstrations to coincide with the vote. Any layoffs would take effect January 1.

Over the weekend, student leaders alerted media outlets to walkouts at a handful of schools planned for Monday.

The school projected to be the hardest hit is Rise Community School, formerly known as School 41, which is slated to lose 13 teachers. The school’s student assessments in reading and math lag behind the district average, which trails the state.

Ninety percent of students in grades three through eight at Rise Community tested below state standards last year in reading, and 86 percent did not meet standards in math.

Urbanski said the school is anticipated to lose so many teachers because the layoffs are determined by seniority, and the school has a disproportionate amount of young teachers.

Responding to a request from CITY and WXXI News, the union provided a list of teaching positions to be cut broken down by school.

The list the union provided put the number of teachers to be laid off at 155, instead of the district's 152. But the union's tally appeared to be based on School 39 being listed twice, with each listing showing three teachers to be cut at the school.

The union did not immediately respond to inquiries about the seemingly duplicative listing. For the purposes of this chart, CITY has removed the second listing of School 39. The list is as follows:

The list will be updated should additional information become available.

David Andreatta is CITY’s editor. He can be reached at dandreatta@rochester-citynews.com.