As you already know, the Rochester City School District is grappling with a projected budget deficit of approximately $30 million. Yesterday, Superintendent Dade briefed union presidents and also made a presentation to the Board of Education. Yesterday evening, you received an email from the District outlining some related information and current plans to address the predicament < http://rochesterteachers.org/a-message-from-superintendent-dade/>.
The Superintendent has decided to begin with a hiring freeze and consolidating under-enrollment in schools and classrooms. This, the Superintendent assured us, would result in minimal or no layoffs of teachers because of the significant number of vacant teaching positions that currently exist. If you recall, the Superintendent made a commitment in a September 22 video message to all staff that every effort will be made to avoid layoffs and to avoid any adverse impact on our classrooms and on services for our students <http://rochesterteachers.org/terry-dade-addresses-possible-budget-deficit/>. We support this guideline and will do all we can to ensure that the Superintendent keeps his commitment. The District is yet to determine what additional steps they will take to achieve savings and cost reductions. Some of these may be management prerogative and some would have to be negotiated with the respective unions representing those affected.
While we have an open mind and are willing to consider the District’s proposals, including those to which we may ultimately not be able to agree, we will support only those that are good for students and also fair to teachers. And we will not make any definitive conclusions about the District’s budget until all the audits and investigations, including the NYS Comptroller’s, are completed.
We will continue to keep you informed about any developments so that you don’t have to wonder whether rumors are accurate. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at the RTA.
Adam Urbanski, RTA President