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Rochester Board of Education

The state education department has approved a continued relationship between the University of Rochester and the Rochester City School District. 

The university has run East High School in partnership with the district for the last five years. The Rochester Board of Education, in a split vote, approved an extension a few months ago. 

James Brown / WXXI

On Thursday, Rochester residents are expected to have their first chance to talk to Shelley Jallow, the state-appointed monitor for the city school district.

Jallow was appointed last month as part of a deal with the state to bail out the district in April. The district was short more than $30 million and was running low on options for funding, until the state stepped in. Jallow told the board last week that one of her chief concerns center’s on the district’s strategic planning. 

James Brown

The Rochester City School Board adopted a budget Thursday night for the upcoming school year. The plan was designed to bridge an $87 million budget gap. It passed by a 6-1 vote with Commissioner Beatriz LeBron voting no. 

The plan cuts more than 300 teaching and staffing positions, and closes five elementary schools. One of those school will be converted into a Pre-K center and another into a middle school, among numerous other changes.

NYS Comptroller's Audit of the Rochester City School District

About six years ago, Rochester’s Board of Education received a presentation from former Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, and then-Chief Financial Officer William Ansbrow. 

Ansbrow said: “If ‘this’ continues, the district’s finances will hit rock bottom within three to five years.” 

Rochester Board of Education President Van White said he was “blindsided” by the resignation of superintendent Terry Dade. 

White said the board learned of Dade’s desire to leave the district on Wednesday shortly before it became public. Dade cited conflict with the board as the reason for his departure. He’s leaving on July 23, to run Cornwall’s school district downstate.

Rochester City School District

A plan to lay off 341 Rochester City School staffers and close two schools was announced Tuesday night.

Superintendent Terry Dade had to revise his budget proposal after New York state kept education funding flat year to year. But costs went up and added about $24 million to the district's budget deficit which was about $60 million.

James Brown / WXXI

Superintendent Terry Dade says the Rochester City School District needs to make more budget cuts -- but it's running out of options.

In late March, Dade released his draft budget but said that he would likely amend the proposal based on what the pending state budget agreement. This process is typical, but these budgets are not.

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Ernest Flagler-Mitchell is the latest Democrat to throw his hat in the ring for the 137th District State Assembly seat

David Gantt has held the seat for nearly 40 years, but it's not clear if he'll run again. Gantt, 78, is dealing with health concerns and has not yet declared his intentions.

Flagler-Mitchell, 41, is a former firefighter who has been in the Monroe County Legislature for five years. He was just re-elected as assistant minority leader. He also trains future firefighters at East High School.

Emily Hunt / WXXI

Early this week, Rochester City School District board member Natalie Sheppard sent a plan to City Council and the Board of Education.

The plan’s goal is to make three changes that could re-establish the district’s credibility after its former Chief Financial Officer, Everton Sewell, told the board and city council that the district’s 2018-19 budget was balanced when it was actually $30 million in the red. That budget was approved by both the school board and City Council. 


School board candidates face a skeptical public

Jun 18, 2019

Every election has twists and turns, but this year's election for Rochester school board is among the strangest in recent memory. The election is taking place at the same time that Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is calling for the state to get rid of the board and take over the district for a few years.

In the June 25 Democratic primary, 10 candidates are running for four of the board's seven seats, including three of the incumbents: Judith Davis, Beatriz LeBron, and Willa Powell. Incumbent Liz Hallmark, who is completing her first term on the board, is not seeking re-election.