Prepared by Eamonn Scanlon, Education Policy Director, The Children’s Agenda
For three years The Children’s Agenda has provided an overview of the Rochester City School District (RCSD) budget with in-depth analysis of changes that affect the most vulnerable students. The purpose of The Children’s Agenda’s review of the RCSD budget, along with our annual reviews of the City and County budgets, is to break open the budget process in a way that increases transparency, accountability and parent empowerment for what children need most with what works best. We offer a detailed look at five areas that are prominent in parents’ concerns: budget transparency, school climate, students with disabilities, multilingual learners, and early childhood education.
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.
We collaborate with parents, students, community members and educators to lift up policy solutions that reflect our collective voices and support the students in most need. To paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, the true measure of any society is how it supports its most vulnerable, especially its children.