In 2011-2012 the Rochester City School district lost $27 million dollars to charter school funding and is expected to pay out $33 million to charter schools in 2012-2013.
Board Commissioner Elliott asked Interim Superintendent Vargas, “What are we doing to reverse that and make our schools quality schools?”
The answer from Dr. Vargas, “That’s an excellent question that you ask and I think that I have said many times that we don’t want to be like Buffalo where $100 million of their budget is going to charter schools. That would be a situation that is not desired for our district and I think that this Board [has] been asking me to do two things that I think will begin to give families and other folks up there and people who work here more confidence in the district. For example, the fact that families will know by June what program will be available to them. And, one other thing that charter schools do well is that they register kids well, early, on time. And, by May, they know what their kids are going to have. So, I would say that we have to increase the quality of our schools, there’s no question. And also, on multiple levels, even how we register our students and the experience. I would communicate with parents, parental engagement. I mean, this is a very important question that you ask. It is a question that I have a conversation with everyone in the district. It won’t be just the Board who will have to respond to this challenge that we have.
It is evident that Dr. Vargas is unaware of why parents are choosing charter schools over public schools and has no definite plan for reversing this trend.
The fact that the Board has chosen to support Dr. Vargas as the next superintendent speaks more to his political affiliation than his acumen as the current superintendent.
Our children deserve more than a political party prefect. Our children deserve a superintendent who knows how to lead them and this district to success.
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