Rochester Board of Education


Rochester Board of Education President Van White, who's been on the board for 13 years, said he’s not running for reelection. 

Instead, White is pursuing one of three open Monroe County Court judge seats in 2021. White said he could not run for both roles simultaneously. 

White said there has been a clamor for systemic change in the legal system for a long time. As an African American and an experienced litigator, he feels he can make that change happen from the inside.

Rochester City School District / Provided

The total known deficit for the Rochester City School District is $117 million but during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, Chief Financial Officer Carleen Piece said the number could be much higher.

Pierce said the bulk of that debt includes the money borrowed on the district’s behalf by the city of Rochester as it waits for funding from grants, the city, the state and others.

She said costs for health insurance, workmen’s compensation, transportation and other areas are concerning. She also said other payments may come due shortly. Pierce said the district was overpaid roughly $12 million for a quality school bond, they’ll have to pay that back.

James Brown

This time last year the Rochester City School District announced they would face a mid year budget deficit but these days they’re working on ways to prevent future financial problems. 

The district has laid off hundreds over the last 18 months to bridge multiple budget deficits and sent pink slips to 221 more staffers last week.

To shrink an expected $59 million budget deficit at the end of the year, the district said it stopped all out of town travel, implemented a soft hiring freeze, and stopped using substitutes for vacant positions among other moves.

James Brown / WXXI

Tamiko Matthews received her second pink slip from the Rochester City School District this week. The 40-something mother of one has worked for the district for just two years. 

"What am I going to be able to do next, after this?” Matthews asked. “Am I gonna be able to come back to my job or continuously look for another job?”

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.