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.