The Finance committee budget deliberations began last night with questions concerning the All City High proposal that was adopted by the Board.
Vern Connors, CFO for the district, explained that the amended plan for the program, reduced from an estimated 1,700 students to 1,000 students and from two locations to one, would save the district “just under $5 million dollars.”
Parent representative, Giancarlo Giannini, asked Mr. Connors if he could provide a list of the top two or three reasons for such an extensive savings amount. The answer, staffing, better student numbers, and operational costs.
Since the Board passed the proposal with no dollar amount attached, and the amended proposal, which cut the program approximately in half, saved the district $5 million dollars, it is safe to say that if this community had not spoken out against the initial proposal, which would have been approved, the district would be facing an increased deficit of $10 million dollars.
The question is, if streamlining the All City High program saved the district $5 million dollars, would rejecting the program save another $5 million dollars? If so, is serving 1,000 students at a cost of approximately $5,000 per student, cost effective when there are programs available that can serve this population for much less?
These questions were never asked by the Board members.
A correction must be made to the statement that none of the $10 million in SIG funds was allocated to an elementary school. Approximately one percent of those funds is being allocated to the Montessori school at Freddie Thomas.
Commissioner Adams raised questions concerning Professional Development for teachers amounting to more than $8 million dollars between Title I and District Initiatives. Unfortunately, Board commissioners did not think to ask about the return on investment for these PD opportunities given that only 5% of the strategies offered in PD’s actually makes it way into the classroom.
On Monday, April 16, 2010, 5:30 PM, Rochester Parents United will be hosting a second community rally at the Fredrick Douglas Resource Center 36 King St (off W. Main, not too far from RCSD headquarters) Rochester, NY 14608. All are welcome, come and voice your concerns.
Join the Movement to Save Our Children!