Hundreds of millions in new state and federal funding have helped stabilize the Rochester City School District’s (RCSD) finances in recent years and allowed the district to add positions and programs in key areas. Unfortunately, the federal support will end after next school year, and staffing shortages have made spending even those temporary funds difficult. Meanwhile students are still facing many challenges and shortfalls in mental health, school climate, special education, multilingual learning, healthy and flavorful school meals, and teacher diversity.
RCSD must be of two minds: committed to getting the most out of these unprecedented resources, while also preparing for a future when budgets will be tighter. Not every program or position will be sustainable, but there is no benefit to letting the money go unspent. It’s important the community seizes this once in a lifetime opportunity for the sake of the students and families of RCSD. This report lays out recommendations to take full advantage of these unprecedented resources, while setting up students to succeed for the long-term.
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.