District proposes 5 percent spending increase

On March 14, Rochester City School District’s interim Superintendent Linda Cimusz proposed a 5 percent spending increase in the $840 million budget proposal for the 2016-17 school year.

Cimusz replaced interim Superintendent Daniel Lowengard in January when he stepped down for health reasons. Lowengard had replaced outgoing superintendent Bolgen Vargas, who resigned last fall but continues to serve as a consultant through the end of his four-year contract in June.

Cimusz’s proposal, which includes a $24 million deficit, provides for additional spending to continue the district’s initiatives to boost third-grade literacy, increase the number of schools with an extended day, and expand extracurricular and summer learning programs.

To help close its budget gap, the district is waiting on an expected increase in state aid estimated to be between $10 million and $20 million, according to Cimusz. The district also will review contracts with outside vendors for further cost savings, as well as seek out more grant funding, reduce administrative costs and not fill nonessential staff positions. The proposal also includes closing School No. 36, which would save the district about $20 million.

The district will hold a series of budget hearings in April with expected adoption of the budget in May. For more information, click here.

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