The superintendent of the Rochester City School District painted a sobering picture at a board of education meeting Tuesday
Superintendent Dr. Lesli Myers-Small outlined her financial plan for the district as it works to compensate for a $128 million cut in funding from New York State.
She and the district's new CFO Carleen Pierce say the district is already in the red for a $59.3 million budget deficit for this fiscal year, before the reduced funding from the state.
Myers-Small announced that the district will be implementing a 20 percent budget cut for all departments and schools, along with several other fiscal changes.
She says the district will enact several changes, including staffing changes, implementing internal controls, reviewing fiscal practices and commitments, and creating new opportunities for greater fiscal oversight.
The district says it will help provide department heads with tools to monitor expenditures.
The RCSD is also putting a freeze on all hiring, overtime, and substitute teachers.
The superintendent and CFO are putting together a finance task force to make sure that the strategic plan is put into effect.
Pierce had a message for the community and for the district on Tuesday.
"There is no crying wolf here, there is no over-exaggeration of expenditures here, this is an absolute fact," Pierce said. "We have to change our spending habits, we need to change our mindset, we need to become disciplined. We need to prioritize our expenditures, and just know that we've got mountains to climb here, and a very short period of time to overcome."
Myers-Small said food and transportation services funding cuts are projected at more than $6 million.