As the 2017-18 District budget is being developed, these reports will provide updates on the process and details on key budget topics. Budget Briefs will be sent weekly or as needed to District staff, parent representatives, community partners and other stakeholders. 

Lobbying for More State Aid to Support Rochester Students

This week, as the legislature works on the State budget due April 1, Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams will be in Albany urging increased support for Rochester schools.  

On February 14, the Superintendent joined other leaders of New York’s “Big 5” school districts—including Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers—in testifying about the needs of our District before joint Senate and Assembly committees that oversee education and State finances. This week Superintendent Deane-Williams—along with Board of Education Commissioners Liz Hallmark and Willa Powell, plus Chief Financial Officer Everton Sewell and other members of her Executive Cabinet—will take part in individual small-group meetings with legislators who represent Rochester and top leaders of the Senate, Assembly and Governor’s office. 

The Superintendent will emphasize the District’s focus on education equity—providing all students opportunities to learn, and giving those who fall behind the extra support they need to achieve grade-level standards and high-school graduation. School teams will ensure every student’s academic, behavior and attendance performance is assessed every five weeks, adjusting interventions as needed and monitoring them for quality and results.  

As in the Superintendent’s testimony, which is posted online, the Rochester team will lobby for $58 million to support Rochester students in State aid above the Governor’s draft budget. This is less than the amount Rochester would receive if the State’s formula for Foundation Aid could be restored to past levels that courts have determined are required for high-poverty Districts.

New Process Focuses District Budget on Student Needs

District leaders are using a new process to develop the Draft Budget that will be presented March 14. Instead of rolling over the current-year budget and making adjustments, they are reviewing the numbers line by line and building the budget based squarely on the needs of students.

  • School Chiefs have been meeting with their Principals to review schedules, enrollment and staffing needs to develop the budget for each school.
  • Instructional requirements must be funded first. This means we will need to hire more teachers, especially in reading and math, and professional learning to support quality instruction.
  • Other programs and services will be prioritized, with the intent of making no cuts to services for children.
            - The team is working to identify efficiencies in other areas of the budget that can be re-invested in services that directly benefit children.
            -  If the budget cannot fund services at the same level as before, we will look to deliver services in new ways or find alternate sources of funding.
  • The process will also be more transparent, using technology to solicit input from our families, staff members, students and the community. 

  • March 14: Budget presentations to BOE: Draft RCSD 2017-18 Budget Presentation 
  • March 21: 1st Public Hearing
  • March 30: 1st Budget Deliberation
  • April 4:  2nd Public Hearing
  • April 11:  2nd Budget Deliberation
  • April 25: 3rd Budget Deliberation
  • May 11: Budget adoption by BOE: Special Board Meeting for the Budget Adoption
  • June 14: Joint Budget Hearing with City Council
  • June 20: Budget approval date by City Council: City Council Meeting for Approval

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