More Of The Budget

Section 6: Teaching and Learning/Academic Support

The Division of Teaching and Learning is responsible for the core work of our District – teaching and learning. The division’s primary role is to implement the NYS Common Core Curriculum and Core Instructional Program as the major component of the NYS Reform Agenda.

Their budget, $25,164,142, a reduction of $2,829,835.

10.37 FTE positions
$420,510 Specialized Services
$1,146,572 Teacher Salary
$24,613 Paraprofessional Salary
4,392 Hourly Teachers
34,953 Overtime Civil Service
$72,391 Special Education Tuition
$42,134 Equipment Other Than Buses
$6,918 Computer Hardware – Non Instructional
$137,570 Equipment Service Contract & Repair
$2,155 Rentals
$10,642 Miscellaneous Services
$34,362 Professional Development
$355,911 BOCES Services

$3,250,345 Academic Support
$102,515 Civil Service
$380,194 Administrator
$2,623 Teaching Assistants
$459,618 Substitute Teacher
$1,018,688 Teacher In-Service
$2,000 Civil Service Substitutes
$57,482 Contract Transportation
$1,244,320 Textbooks
$576 Utilities
$318,382 Instructional Supplies
$189,305 Postage & Print Advertising
$250 Auto Supplies
$400,351 Supplies & Materials
$3,278 Office Supplies
$52,850 Computer Software – Instructional
$265,166 Computer Software – Non-Instructional
$129,894 Professional Technical Service
$74,956 Agency Temporary Staff

Academic Support provides instructional and curricular resources and leadership in the core academic areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, as well as Foreign Languages, African and African-American Studies, Career and Technical Education, Universal PreKindergarten, Health and Physical Education.

Their budget, $9,597,699 a reduction of $3,250,345.

$353,576 Salary Compensation
$462,999 Career & Technical Education
$420,717 Health, Phys Educ, & Athletics
$62,916 Teaching & Learning
$29,319 Office of Science
$849,034 Integrated Literacy
Career & Technical Education – 1 FTE position (Exec Dir of CTE) $100,000 Salary
Exec Director Rdg by 3rd Grade – .5 FTE – $90,000 Salary
Tchr-Reading – 5.0 FTEs – $61,334 Salary (Each)
Data/Special Assistant– 1 FTE $88,426 Salary

$1,339,357 Other Compensation
$1,188,685 Debt Service
$891,723 Cash Capital Outlays
$404,677 Technology
$197,979 Bi-lingual Education
$20,795 Native American Program
$238,071 Arts Education
$25,233 Office of Guidance HS
$3,896,106 Dpty Supt Teaching & Learning
$76,044 Office of Mathematics
$88,891 Office of Social Studies
$475,136 Academic Intervention Services
$6,000 Office of Foreign Languages
$51,075 African & African-Amer Studies
Native American Program .8 FTEs
(NAP) Office Clerk II – $41,862 Salary – Eliminated
(NAP) TCHR-ON-ASSIGNMENT – $61,334 Salary – Eliminated
Arts Education .7 FTEs
Tchr-Security Specialist .4 FTEs
Dir. Positive Behavior & Support – $131,359 Salary Eliminated
Exec Director of School Intervention – $140,637 Salary Eliminated
Office of Guidance – Office Clerk I – $56,238 Salary Eliminated

It has been said that a district’s budget reflects the mission and goal of that district.

The Rochester City School District’s draft budget tells an interesting story of its mission and goals.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Signed, Sealed, And Delivered – Into The Hands Of Corporate Servitude

The District released the 2014-15 Draft budget with the notation, “Program Profiles and Budgets will be provided at a later date”.

Section 1 – Introduction and Overview

1. Student Achievement and Growth
Instructional Excellence – Common Core Instructional Program, fully implemented in 2013-14
16,000 hours of Professional Learning on Common Core instruction
100 Instructional/Technology Coaches
5.5 Instructional Directors added in 2013-14

2. Effective, Efficient Allocation of Resources
$51.8 Million in Operational Efficiencies (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

4. Parent, Family and Community Involvement
Neighborhood Schools?

5. Management Systems
Rigorous Staff Feedback & Support – RCSD is the only large district to fully comply with APPR law
Ended Phase-In & Phase-out of Schools (After the four Board approved closings?)

Stakeholder Engagement in Budget Preparation
Parent Input, Principal Input, Central Office Staff Input (No student or community input)

Funding Our Priorities
Average class sizes – 22 for kindergarten through third grade (A 22:1 ratio. There are no class size projections for full day Pre-Kindergarten)

Thirty-one Math, ELA and Technology coaches . . . managed by three school chiefs (A 10:1 ratio)

Music and Art
Art – 1.5 FTEs added
Music – 1.3 FTEs added
$2.2 million School Technology Investment (Microsoft)

Strategy 1 – Full Day Pre-K (4 year old children)
Strategy 1.C: . . . all Pre-K students will have read 500 books . . .(There are 180 days in a school year, 365 days in a calendar year)

Strategy 2 – Curriculum Implementation
Strategy 2.A: . . . all teachers will have the materials necessary to implement the K-3 Common Core Curriculum
Strategy 2.B: Online learning courses will be created for K-3 teachers . . (Along with 16,000 hours of PD?)

Strategy 3 – Formative Assessment and Data

Strategy 3.A: . . . all elementary buildings will be trained in how to administer the K-2 Common Core Unit and Domain Assessments (CCUDA) included in the Common Core Curriculum.
Strategy 3.B: . . . an electronic data collection tool will be created in “Line It” to record, store and analyze all CCUDA data.

Instructional Excellence
Strategy 1 – Model Teachers
Strategy 1.B: . . . each of the the four targeted demonstration schools will have four model teachers to serve as mentors and turnkey trainers in four modules: Differentiation, Higher Order Questioning (Not thinking), Instructional Technology Integration, and Common Core.

Our children deserve to be more than “middle class” corporate minions.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

CC Here, CC There, We Don’t Want It Anywhere

On Tuesday, Parent to Parent hosted an informational meeting in Fairport on the Common Core that included parents, educators, students, community members, and one superintendent.

In Rochester, on Wednesday night Metro Justice and Teen Empowerment joined to engage parents, educators, students, and community members in a discussion surrounding the district’s Code of Conduct.

While the two topics may seem as different as the venues in which they were discussed, they are not.

Both Common Core policies and the “Zero Tolerance” policies of the district Code of Conduct are issues of control.

Control of our children and their future.

In Fairport, attendees learned of the influence of the wealthy on education and that the problem is not implementation but the entire system of education that is being forced and enforced in districts across the United States. Participants were urged to contact their State Legislators and tell them to reject Common Core implementation all together.

For too many years, this district has been using the Code of Conduct to suspend and arrest students who did little more than talk back to their teacher. Students told stories of being suspended for forty-five days for watching other students fighting. One student, after being arrested for fighting, was subsequently suspended from school for an entire school year.

How are they linked? ALEC.

Morna McDermott an associate professor in the College of Education at Towson University reports “Many corporations and organizations that are members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have “funded and perpetuated Common Core standards throughout the states. . .”

“Through the secretive meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council, corporate lobbyists and state legislators vote as equals on ‘model bills’ to change our rights that often benefit the corporations’ bottom line at public expense.”

ALEC has been a major force behind both privatizing state prison space and keeping prisons filled. [Wikipedia]

We are facing a major crises in American and our children are the victims.

We, the people, of the United States, must raise our voice through our vote to Save Our Children.

Knowledge is power!

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

What’s In Store With Common Core

Though the Rochester City School District draft budget was to be posted by the end of the day, March 25, 2014, it is still unavailable to the public.

In his “Testimony before the New York Senate Finance Committee, Assembly Ways and Means Committee, Senate Education Committee, and Assembly Education Committee, Superintendent Vargas states, “Last year, management efficiencies were the largest single contributor to the plan that closed our $50 million budget gap. We have also been recognized nationally, one of four Districts selected as a national model by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for spending money efficiently to meet the needs of students.”

The Superintendent requested an increase in Governor’s aid of $13.6 million dollars:
* $6.3 million in addition to the Governor’s proposed budget, in order to avoid undesired budget cuts
* $1.7 million will fund 20 reading teachers to support third-grade literacy
* $1.3 million will help us to reduce summer learning loss through extended learning time. Specifically, we will use it to fund summer school for students in grades Pre-K to 3, further supporting early literacy
* $3.3 million will help us to expand instructional time at up to seven elementary
* $1.0 million will support improved instruction by enabling teachers to participate in observing local model classrooms and replicating those practices

The Superintendent reports, “Since becoming Superintendent I have closed three schools and phased out seven low-performing programs. Our Board of Education has voted to close four additional schools over time, to ensure efficient use of space as our enrollment declines. . . Our District also is employing the APPR process to improve instructional quality.”

In the 2014-15 Draft budget presentation under “Funding Our Academic Priorities” we learn that the RCSD has accepted a, “$2.2 million technology investment in schools funded by Microsoft

This community must recognize and understand that the leaders of the Rochester City School District are committed to Common Core implementation, and the influence of corporate dollars in perpetuating the failure of our children.

It is the responsibility of this community to stand together and stop the progression of Common Core and the corporate control of our children’s future.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

United We Stand – Divided They Win

While it is imperative that we fight to make our voice heard at the local and State level, we must remember that education policy is being determined by corporate influence at the Federal level.

The Federal Register is the publication the Federal government uses to inform the public of meetings, hearings, proposed legislation, grant funding, and reporting that comes before the various Committees formed to address issues of citizen concern.

Citizens concerned with specific issues can attend and speak at these meetings, testify at the hearings, provide written comments on proposed legislation and apply for grant funding through the Federal Register.

The response of the 99% is woefully missing from this opportunity to be heard which makes the sound bites of the 1% heard, listened to, and powerful.

While the masses continue to struggle over the crumbs thrown from the table of the wealthy, some for African American males, some for the Hispanic community, some for the “disabled”, et cetera, the 1% maintains their position at all of these meetings and hearings, employing lobbyists to make sure they are heard.

The President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics will provide an opportunity for public comment on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., EST. Individuals who wish to provide comments will be allowed three minutes to speak. Those members of the public interested in submitting written comments may do so by submitting them to the attention of Emmanuel Caudillo, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW., Room 4W108, Washington, DC 20202, by Friday, March 28, 2014 or via email at

We have been convinced that attending these meetings and hearings and submitting comments is a waste of time, causing our voice to remain silent and powerless.

Every local and State group concerned with the direction of education should send representatives to speak and testify at these meetings and hearings and must encourage their membership to submit written testimony and comments through the Federal Register.

We will not become a changing force in OUR government until OUR voice is heard.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

It Takes A Village To Save A Child

Student behavior at East High School was the focus of a recent Democrat & Chronicle article.

What the reporter doesn’t understand is that she is seeing the result of the mis-education these young men and women have received.

Their abhorrent behavior is cultivated as early as Kindergarten and, once they have been labeled and placed on the path to failure, it continues throughout their educational experience.

Their lack of self discipline and unwillingness to achieve as young adults is seen as a result of poverty or color or gender or some other inconsequential attribute that standardizes them to a norm that marginalizes and dehumanizes them.

Like lobsters caught in a trap, they can only fight with and kill each other in their efforts to survive the cold and inhumane treatment they have been receiving for eight or more years at the hands of a system of education that reduces them to data bits and dollar bills.

The students at East High School, and every other school for that matter, are acting out because they are aware that they are more than the results of a standardized test, a grade, or the $18,000 plus dollars it takes to create their failure.

Reforming the current system, accepting any part of its deadly idealism, is unacceptable.

Implementation is not the problem. The entire system of education that is being forced upon our children is the problem.


The movement to save our children is growing.

People are becoming educated to the realities of Common Core.

It is becoming evident to everyone, including our children that our current system of education is harming our children.

It is not enough to reform this system, we must fight to stop its progression and change it completely.

Children do not raise themselves.

It is our charge, as adults, as positive role models, as leaders, to discover, develop, and direct the gifts and talents of all of our children by providing every child with an excellent education.

America cannot be great until Americans are great.

We must teach our children to be great.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Movement And Stagnation

Yesterday, two van loads of concerned Rochester citizens left the Metro Justice parking lot and headed to Albany to join forces with AQE and Occupy and other advocates to protest Governor Cuomo’s budget plan.

A small group of Rochestarians met with Senator Joe Robach to discuss Albany’s refusal to properly finance public education while allocating tax dollars to fund private and charter schools.

Senator Robach’s message was clear. The Rochester City School District receives more money, per capita, than most and is failing more than most, why should they get more money before they can properly disburse the funding they are currently receiving?

Senator Robach also admitted that money from the lottery that is specificially earmarked for education goes into the State’s “General Fund” and not towards education.

In Rochester, Superintendent Vargas released his plan for RCSD schools.

It states, “Over the past 25 years, under seven different Superintendents, billions of dollars have been spent on different approaches to improving student achievement and school performance. . . These past reforms have caused instability and upheaval for students, families and staff. Unfortunately, none of them has improved outcomes. . . The answer is not to develop a new strategic plan at this time, replacing the 2008-2013 document through a process that would delay progress and create instability. Rather, it is imperative to focus and finish execution of the key strategies we have identified.”

According to Superintendent Vargas, the continued failure of our children is the answer to our problem of the educational failure of our children.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

To continue implementing the edicts of the Common Core would be a disaster. Once in place and operating at full capacity, Common Core will continue to cause irreparable damage to our children.

This community must act now, at home, in Albany, and in Washington, to force legislators and elected officials to change our current system of education so that it concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of ALL of our children.

Concerned education advocates are on the move while the RCSD is stagnating.

Join The Movement to Save Our Children!