Teachers Union Urging RCSD to Halt Cuts for Now

The unions representing Rochester City School District’s teachers and support employees are urging the district to stand down on making drastic cuts, for now.

They are reacting after the recent announcement of RCSD Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small’s plan for 20 percent budget cuts across the board.

“That would be catastrophic, that would mean hundreds upon hundreds of teacher layoffs. So our message to the superintendent and to the Board of Education is: don’t rush to make those cuts prematurely. Because it would devastate our district,” said Rochester Teachers Association president, Adam Urbanski.

Urbanski sent a letter from the RTA and the unions representing paraprofessionals, non-teaching employees, and administrators to the superintendent and board of education. It calls for them to suspend plans to lay off teachers and staff until Congress passes the Heroes Act in the next stimulus bill or until the state kicks in more money.

Spectrum News spoke with RCSD School Number 4 music teacher, Rachel Dobbs. She is preparing for the school year, which will be remote for the first 10 weeks. Dobbs says it’s nerve wracking.

“It feels like this whole summer has been and even since the spring, waiting to hear from the governor what we’re going to do. Waiting to hear what the plan will be,” Dobbs said. “Now waiting to see how the chips fall with this, it’s been, it’s a lot of waiting and it is nerve wracking.”

Urbanski says the district did respond to the letter and says it is taking the message under consideration.

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