ROCHESTER, N.Y. — After the Rochester City School District released a revised budget plan last week, some are calling for more transparency from district leaders.
Children’s Agenda, an advocacy organization, is calling for more transparency in the district’s budget process.
The RCSD has access to tens of millions of dollars this year for their budget thanks to federal funding.
Children’s Agenda wants more information on what the money will go toward.
That’s why they’re asking RCSD for an object summary, something school districts in other cities have.
“We need accurate accounts on how much is going to be spent on mental health,” said the Children's Agenda’s education policy director Eamonn Scanlon. “And the best way we can do that is to drill down on an object summary. It summarizes everything happening in the district.”
Children’s Agenda says it pushed the district on 14 key recommendations for the budget, with the main focus on mental health resources.
It’s something that some RCSD parents say is a huge need.
“We have children who have grandparents, mothers [and] uncles who are dying from COVID and homicides,” said Gail Berkes, a parent of an RCSD student. “And now, they’re being asked to go back to school.”
Children’s Agenda leaders want $5 million of the RCSD budget to go toward mental health resources and restorative practices.
“We really want to make sure the community, parents and students have a voice in this process,” Scanlon said. “But they can’t if they don’t have the info.”
A public budget meeting is taking place this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. It’s a chance for parents to voice their concerns.
To be a speaker at the meeting, you must email the Board of Education at Boardofeducation@rcsdk12.org or call 585-262-8525 before noon Thursday.
More information can be found on the district’s website.
Spectrum News 1 has reached out to the district for comment but has not yet heard back.