Rochester Board of Education

James Brown / WXXI

Assemblyman Harry Bronson and his primary challenger for the 138th District seat, Alex Yudelson, have nothing but good things to say about incoming Rochester City School District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small. Multiple sources tell WXXI News that she is the board’s choice for the role. 

Bronson said he knew for a while that Myers-Small was in the mix for the top job at the district. He’s discussed her resume with education experts. 

The Rochester Board of Education on Thursday night approved a budget that closes the City School District’s Bilingual Language and Literacy Academy.

Myrna Gonzalez with the Bilingual Education Council said the board’s decision dealt a death blow to the academy. 

“They sign the death sentence for bilingual education in Rochester,” she said. “We’ve been fighting over 10 years for (the) right education for our kids, and we don’t have it.”

RCSD nears budget deal

Apr 29, 2020
Rochester City School District

The Rochester City School District is nearing a budget deal after making many changes to outgoing superintendent Terry Dade’s budget on Tuesday night. 

Unlike previous presentations, this one didn’t have Dade’s name on it and it was presented by Deputy Superintendent Lynda Quick and Chief Financial Officer Robert Franklin. 

James Brown / WXXI

Rochester City School Superintendent Terry Dade announced Wednesday that he’s in talks to leave the 

district after less than one year on the job. The four union leaders who represent the bulk of district employees say the district needs a state monitor now.

An educational and financial monitor was approved as part of the state budget agreement but isn’t expected to be appointed until July. 

The unions wrote a letter to Betty Rosa, the chancellor of the New York State board regents to speed up that process and if she can’t. Rochester Teachers Association president Adam Urbanski has a solution for Rosa.

Rochester City School District

The Rochester City School District’s deficit is now roughly $81 million. That’s up a third from just two weeks ago.

The district’s draft budget was based on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state budget proposal in January. That was before the COVID-19 pandemic, though, which Cuomo said has cost the state more than $10 billion. 

A deal has been struck to bail out Rochester City Schools after the district overspent by more than $60 million last school year, which caused the district to lay off more than 150 staffers in December. 

Assemblyman Harry Bronson said a fiscal and academic monitor will be appointed to the district for the next three years. In exchange, the district will receive a $35 million loan from future state aid, known as a spin up, which will be paid back over at least 30 years. Without this agreement, Bronson said the district may have been allowed to seek a line of credit, but with a much shorter repayment window. 

Max Schulte / WXXI News

A walkout Friday at the Young Mothers and Interim Health Academy was the latest protest to proposed cuts to Rochester City School District staff.

Students and teachers at the academy said their principal, Tony Robinson, is among the more than 200 staffers who received a layoff notice. Robinson couldn't be reached for comment.

They said Robinson provides consistency and safety to the program, which focuses not only on students who have had babies but also on those who face serious mental health problems.

They're worried about the program's future.

Rochester school district facing spending concerns

Sep 20, 2019
Emily Hunt for WXXI News

The Rochester City School District may have overspent its budget for the 2018-19 school year, but it's unclear how much money is involved and what impact, if any, this could have on students' school programs.

The discrepancy was found during a routine year-end audit by the district's external auditor, school board President Van White said in an interview today.

City files appeal on RCSD referendum

Aug 9, 2019
Emily Hunt for WXXI News

As Mayor Lovely Warren promised, the city filed an appeal Friday in the New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division, asking the court to reverse a recent court decision barring a referendum on a state takeover of the Rochester City School District.

In June, City Council approved Warren's request for a referendum on a temporary takeover of the district, which would remove the elected Rochester school board.

Alex Crichton/WXXI News

State education officials have drafted a plan to replace the Rochester Board of Education with a state-appointed board for at least five years, according to documents that CITY Newspaper has obtained. At the end of the five years, the district’s governance would return to an elected board. 

The plan is a result of ongoing concerns about the state of the Rochester City School District, primarily its governance.