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RCSD announces 2017-2018 proposed budget

Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams is working to close a $58 million budget gap for the upcoming school year. (Photo: Rochester City School District)

Rochester, N.Y. - Tuesday night, the Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer of the Rochester City School District presented their budget proposal.

Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams is working to close a $17.9 million budget gap for the upcoming school year. That number comes after factoring in budget adjustments that decreased the projected budget gap of $54.8 million.

It is the superintendent's first time tackling the budget in the Rochester City School District. Her strategy is making changes within the district to save costs while still driving student performance.

"I have a strong belief that you have to drive dollars and resources directly to students and teaching and learning in the schools," said Superintendent Deane-Williams. "The way to do that is reduce the district office and the bureaucracy and layers of management in the school district."

Her budget proposal plans to move dozens of reading teachers and other resources from Central Office directly into the schools. It's a move that is building trust and support with the Rochester Teachers Association.

"For many years we have been urging this district to redirect resources from Central Office to schools and to the classrooms, and that's exactly what she is doing, and we commend her for doing that," said Adam Urbanski, President of the Teachers Association.

However, the biggest budget challenge is tied up in the hands of state lawmakers. Currently $15 million of the $18 million budget gap reflects the Governor's proposal to unfreeze tuition rates for charter school students, which will ultimately increase costs per pupil for the school district if passed.

The District will learn by March 31 what lawmakers decide.

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