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Children Left Out, Again

New York State has drafted a proposal that will be submitted to the US Department of Health and Human Services, requesting flexibility in how it uses Medicaid funds. Known as a “Medicaid waiver,” the proposal includes a request for $13.52 billion to be used over five years. The intent is to design innovative ways of using Medicaid funds that will promote health equity and address health disparities. Despite the fact this waiver is focused on equity, the investments in the current proposal are not aligned with the needs of the poorest and most diverse population of New Yorkers who rely on Medicaid: children.

A Better Start

Rochester’s families deserve pre-kindergarten and kindergarten placements that meet their children’s needs. This report is a first step to better understand parents’ enrollment decision-making and how they experience enrollment policies. The goal is to help the Rochester City School District improve existing policies and processes so families have a better experience with enrollment.

Family Voices: Monroe County Parent Poll

The balance between caring for children and work is a crisis or major problem for 7 out of 10 Monroe County families and 5 out of 10 parents say their stress is high as a result of the pandemic. The stress parents are experiencing has three branches: affording and accessing resources, pandemic disruptions in schools, and mental health impacts of the pandemic.

Review of the Proposed 2021-2022 Rochester City School District Budget

The recommendations in this report were developed in partnership with students, parents, and community agencies such as the Parent Leadership Advisory Council (PLAC), Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), Bilingual Education Council (BEC), Teens With Attitude, Teen Empowerment, Citizen Action of NY, Alliance for Quality Education, Roc/ACTS, the Community Task Force on School Climate, IBERO American Action League, and many more, as well as those who attended our numerous budget teach-ins and community forums.

Community Schools Data Synthesis

A review was done of research and evaluations on community schools throughout the country plus available data on community schools in Rochester. Synthesis of the information can inform development of a community school system. There are varying principles community schools are based on, including collaboration, equity, and a mixed model. Community schools can impact students, teachers, families, communities, and systems. In Rochester the demographics of community schools are, overall, proportionate to the district, but notable variability exists. Current academic outcomes and available staff also vary greatly. Needs assessments indicate priorities for strengthening relationships, supporting social-emotional learning and restorative practices, increasing academic support, meeting basic needs, and engaging families