Did you know that the Rochester City School District will receive more than $307 million in federal stimulus money to spend over the next few years? As we do each year, The Children's Agenda is providing analysis, recommendations, and advocating with parents for how the school district should invest in our youth to put our community's children first.
The RCSD's #1 spending priority must be to support the most vulnerable children and families still recovering from this past year, including children and families living in poverty, families of color, immigrant and non-English speaking households, homeless children, and families with physical and mental illness. When we support all of our scholars and their families, we can begin to build better schools to strengthen our community.
RCSD must meaningfully engage parents, families, and community members in the planning, distribution, and oversight of expenditures, with specific efforts to include parents and community members of color. Parents and families are their children's best advocates and ensuring that parents are at the table to make decisions will benefit our school systems and scholars.
Now is the time to lean in! The RCSD has a tremendous opportunity to provide the best opportunities, resources, and support to all students. If funding is used to maintain the status quo, it would be a massive failure and a loss to the entire Rochester community — particularly for the most vulnerable families trying to recover from the pandemic.
We should be stopping the long-term decline of enrollment by concentrating resources per student, class, and building, rather than diluting supports.
Please join us on Wednesday, June 2 at 7:00pm for our Rochester City School District Commissioner Candidate Forum co-hosted by The Children’s Agenda, Parent Leadership Advisory Council, Bilingual Education Council, Special Education Parent Advisory Council, and IBERO American Action League.
Please share this important event with friends and colleagues. Early voting for the primary election starts June 12. There are 3 seats up for election, and many crucial issues to discuss, including schools reopening, and RCSD's federal stimulus money. All 9 candidates in the upcoming primary election for RCSD Commissioner have confirmed they will attend to answer your questions:
Joshua P Bauroth
Cynthia A Elliott
Clifford A Florence
James L Patterson
Camille A Simmons
Tatiana L Welch
Clianda A Yarde
Spanish translation will be provided.
You can submit a question for the candidates when you register. You will receive the zoom information on the day of the event.
Your Input Is Needed on the Federal Stimulus for RCSD
The Rochester City School District (RCSD) will finally have the resources to meet its students’ needs. Let’s not squander this moment, it’s time to lean in.
The RCSD has $284M in additional federal money it must spend over the next two to four years. At the same time, New York State has committed to fully funding Foundation Aid over the next two years, meaning tens of millions in additional recurring revenue. Now is the time to make big structural changes and address the long-standing needs of RCSD’s students.
RCSD is holding two public hearings for parents and community members on Wednesday, May 26, and Thursday, June 10 at 5:30pm. To register use this link
Your feedback will be used to develop a plan for the stimulus funds by July 1, 2021. This is very little time to give feedback, but we must seize it and demand more opportunities for parents, students, staff, and community members to act as decision makers over these next few years. We also must demand transparency in how these funds are used to have accountability and follow through.
"Before COVID hit, child care was in crisis, which was why the Task Force convened in the first place. As we leave the crisis stage of the pandemic behind us, we cannot afford to miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a system worthy of the central role child care plays in children’s development, in the lives of families, and in the lifeblood of our economy. Now is the time to invest, and rectify the woeful under-investments of the past.” Larry Marx, CEO of The Children’s Agenda said in a joint statement by the Empire State Campaign for Child Care and Winning Beginning - NY.
To read the full set of recommendations made by the Task Force, click here.
On Friday, May 7 at Rochester Childfirst Network, our local state Senators and Assemblymembers, along with parents, educators, advocates, and representatives of The Children’s Agenda, Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action celebrated some big wins for children in the New York State budget:
Foundation Aid: a $1.4 billion dollar increase statewide and 3-year phase-in of the remaining amount owed by New York State to public schools
Pre-K: $105 million expansion of pre-K statewide
Child care: The enacted state budget directs $2.3 billion in federal dollars to improve equity, access and quality of child care in New York State. Specifically, the budget includes:
$1.26 billion in upfront grants to providers that can be used to increase wages and benefits for child care workers;
Increased eligibility for child care subsidies;
Lower parent costs;
Support for child care businesses and workforce, including grants for supplies and PPE to providers;
Child care scholarships for essential workers; and
New employer child care credits.
None of this would have been possible without the hard work of families, educators, youth, advocates, community organizations, and elected officials, who never gave up fighting for our children. THANK YOU!
TCA to Review Newly Released City Budget
Mayor Warren presented her proposed $560 million 2021-22 budget on Friday, May 14. Combined with previous proposals in her State of the City messages and public statements, it is clear that some City departments and services are undergoing substantial change. The 2021-22 budget development process included a more robust roll-out of the City’s budget equity program, requiring departments to use a Budget Equity Tool to assess their 2021-22 plans’ impact on underserved stakeholders. The Children’s Agenda will be addressing the following topics in our analysis, recommendations, and advocacy in the first week of June:
Youth-police interactions, including alternative responses such as mental health professionals;
Youth development, youth employment, and youth violence prevention;
The City’s decision-making on how to best use the $207 million coming to the City through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Jen Cathy - Meredith Dragon - Feinbloom Supporting Foundation (of the Rochester Area Community Foundation) - Sarah Mittiga - Partnership for America’s Children (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation general support re-grant) - Carole Teegarden
Sustaining the work we have done together is only a click away. Making a monthly donation to The Children's Agenda supports our efforts to help children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.
The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.