“A heavier task could not have been imposed than I to speak my griefs unspeakable.” Shakespeare
It is no surprise that the 2011-2012 proposed budget was passed 6:1, Commissioner Adams being the dissenting vote. Nor is it surprising that throughout the budget deliberation process questions were asked that were answered without clarity or that simply went unanswered.
If not for matters of State to state confidently the matter of no confidence in their finance we would be confident in our financial matter and would not want in fear of theirs.
As a community we are to believe that this district would be solvent if only the State would make good on its promise of financial support.
The fact that our Board has traditionally mismanaged district finances requiring no accountability in any area of spending has nothing to do with our current financial predicament.
The fact that the Board has, as a matter of rule, passed every budget that has been presented to it with little or no depth of inquiry is inconsequential.
The comedy of errors last night was the Board conversation around financially supporting failing programs, I’m Ready, and programs that only exist on paper, All City High, while not providing financial support to programs that may be adopted in the future, Freedom School, that are proven to work. This conversation did not take place when the Board passed a budget that cut the ArtPeace Program which was evidenced to work and funded the I’m Ready Program with no evidence of success.
The proposed budget is $705 million dollars, $10 million of which is slated to fund All City High and $2 million for I’m Ready, maybe. In actuality, those numbers are there to balance the budget. Rest easy Rochester, once the budget is passed, the dollars can be moved around and used for whatever program the Superintendent proposes and the Board approves.
It is not by circumstance that the district is suffering financial woe. It is the lack of accountability and due diligence by this community that causes us to pay dearly for our children’s failure.
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