In a visit to Rochester Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for legal action to address the fiscal health of Rochester City Schools.
Cuomo agreed with the state's top budget official, saying there are laws in place to get the district much-needed help.
With a reported $30 million budget shortfall, Cuomo called on both the Rochester City Council and the state Education Department to take action.
"This has been going on for years. Why does the City Council keep approving the same budget plan for the school district?" Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo says there are several viable options to address the problem, such as a state takeover of failing schools or placing struggling schools in receivership.
“I appreciate Governor Cuomo’s willingness to support legislation to provide a total reset of the Rochester City School District,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said in a statement. “While I agree there are interim measures that the State Education Department can take to address the challenges facing the district, the courts have stated that education governance lies solely with the State of New York.”
The governor says his office is ready to help.
"If they said the existing law does not give us the authority to do what we want to do, then if you need state legislation, I will help them get that legislation. But they have to say what they want to do," Cuomo said.
Warren has been pushing for a referendum where voters could decide if they wanted the state to step in and remove the school board.
“The City of Rochester submitted a bold plan to the Legislature and Governor last legislative session that aligns with the Distinguished Educator’s report and recommendations,” Warren said in a statement. “However, if the Governor and Legislature prefer another approach, we are open to whatever needs to be done for the children of Rochester.”