Other than contributing to their budget, neither City Council nor City Hall has a direct effect on how the Rochester City School District operates. This is actually a good thing. Leave education to the educators. But the number one thing that the Mayor and City Council can do to positively affect our schools is to alleviate the abject poverty we have in Rochester.
So if Assemblyman Gantt and Mayor Warren are so concerned with our schools, they should work with City Council to:
- Increase library and recreation center hours.
- Exponentially expand our teen jobs program.
- Reduce crime.
- Create worker-owned businesses.
- Treat housing as a human right.
- Implement Restorative Justice.
- Make Participatory Budgeting a systemic practice.
The City of Rochester also needs to start funding the City School District at the level they are legally required. I am actually surprised that the District has not sued the City yet as we have kept funding the same for years even though our property taxes have gone up. Legally, a percentage of that increased revenue is supposed to go to RCSD. You can learn more about that here.
Mayoral control of school districts has been tried in other places and it has NEVER worked. Our elected representatives should focus on their own responsibilities before they start messing with other parts of government.
Want to REALLY fix our schools? Here's how you do it.