Join RTA, RAP and the Rochester Community Coalition to Save Our Schools (ROC-SOS) in calling on our elected representatives—urging them to regain funding so we can open safely open schools for our children and their teachers this Fall.

Stand with Rochester’s educators, students and families: Save our schools

Target: Rochester City Council, Mayor, Rochester City School District’s Board of Education, Monroe County Legislature, County Executive, State Assembly and State Senate, U.S. Representatives and Senators

Right now, our community, like our country, is confronting multiple crises: a health crisis, an economic crisis, a crisis of public education funding, and a crisis of justice, all of which disproportionately affect communities of color.

Rochester’s educators stand in solidarity with all community members who are demanding that racial justice finally become a reality. Centuries of racism, injustice, discrimination and unequal treatment in our country must finally end. We acknowledge the grief and trauma that our members, our students and our communities feel.

While our educators are doing everything they can to meet the needs of students during these times, the state of New York and the Federal government are letting us down, causing school closings and educator layoffs even before schools can begin to reopen.

As the unions representing Rochester educators, we have been affected by the elimination of nearly 400 positions—including 315 teachers and 16 paraprofessionals.

More than ever, people understand how essential our schools are—they feed our students, help families deal with economic and social needs, and support entire communities. Schools will reopen, and when they do, students deserve to return to a more equitable, safer and more dynamic learning environment.

We know budgets are strapped, but the needs our communities will face as we navigate the new normal of COVID-19 will require more investment, not less—more counselors, more social workers and more after-school programs, not fewer. Our low-income communities and communities of color were hit hard before this crisis; these additional cuts are just salt in the wound.

Rochester has constantly been denied the state aid it is entitled to, and our students have suffered because of it.

We must not forfeit Rochester’s future.

That’s why we are calling on all our elected representatives—urging them to regain funding for our schools and avoid massive layoffs and deep, traumatic program cuts that would have a lifelong impact on all of Rochester’s children, particularly its most vulnerable students.

Add your name now to support our request that our elected representatives intensify the fight for proper funding of our schools.