WXXI AM News

Rochester City School Board

The Rochester Coalition for Public Education is local organization aiming to educate the public, educators and policy makers about education research -- and how it can improve outcomes in the Rochester City School District. The coalition has developed a set of recommendations for the RCSD and the Board of Regents. We sit down with coalition members to discuss the debate over a state takeover or mayoral control, and the most effective path forward. In studio:

  • Henry Padron, retired school #12 kindergarten teacher & former RCSD bilingual director 
  • Vicki Robertson, RCSD Parent, School Based Planning Team member at Wilson Commencement
  • Dan Drmacich, coalition coordinator and retired principal of School Without Walls

James Brown WXXI

Transparency and a lack of confidence were among the concerns voiced as Rochester City Council members peppered city school district leaders with questions about the district's finances Thursday night. 

Internal and external investigations are ongoing into how the district went from a balanced budget that it presented to City Council in June to about $30 million in the red this fall. 


Emily Hunt / for WXXI News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s willing to help with whatever is needed to fix the Rochester City School District’s financial mess. But, he says, City Council and the state education department need to stop pointing fingers and come up with a plan.

A top state budget official has sent a letter to officials from the City of Rochester and the New York state Education Department suggesting that both City Hall and state education officials use their authority to deal with problems in the city school district.

Office of Rep. Joe Morelle

Congressman Joe Morelle is calling on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate “ongoing financial and operational troubles” of the Rochester City School District.

Morelle’s letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr comes after the district recently said that it found a discrepancy during a routine audit, and may have overspent its budget for the 2018-19 school year.

We sit down with Terry Dade, the new superintendent of the Rochester City School District. Dade signed a three-year contract with the district, and started the job on July 1. Previously, he served as assistant superintendent in Fairfax County Public Schools in the Washington, D.C. area, where he led an effort to improve some of that district’s lowest-performing schools.

Dade discusses his priorities for the RCSD and his ideas for making improvements in a number of areas. We also talk about the current debate over a possible state takeover of the district.

Leaders in Rochester continue to debate a proposed November referendum regarding a state takeover of the city school board. A judge recently ruled that such a referendum is illegal; Mayor Lovely Warren was deeply disappointed, and alleged that the current school board is intentionally preventing student success.

We talk to two people with different views of the referendum and the path forward. Our guests:

  • Van White, president of the Rochester City School Board
  • Malik Evans, member of Rochester City Council