Colleagues,

You may have heard about Superintendent Dade’s speculation that, if we do not receive additional funding from the State, the District may not be able to meet payroll this year and may have to make up to 800 layoffs. He said this yesterday while testifying to the NYS Legislature. At the same time, he indicated through the local news media that he is confident that the RCSD will, indeed, get additional financial assistance from the State and will be able to avert all this.

Like you, we were surprised by the Superintendent’s grim speculation. Perhaps his intent was to impress upon Albany the seriousness of RCSD’s fiscal problems. Even so, effective lobbying for additional funding need not include exaggerated and alarmist speculation. Our District could not survive such radical reductions in staff and these dire predictions only serve to further undermine teachers’ morale and the public’s confidence in our schools.

Along with our state-level union, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), we are continuing our efforts to increase the chances for additional State aid for our schools. We also remain committed to seeking legislation that would ensure independent and impartial monitoring of the District’s finances. Expect a fuller update on these efforts soon. Meanwhile, I wish you a restful and safe February recess.

Adam Urbanski, RTA President