RCSD facing spending concerns 

The Rochester City School District may have overspent its budget for the 2018-2019 school year, but it's unclear how much money is involved and what impact, if any, this could have on students' school programs. The discrepancy was found during a routine year-end audit by the district's external auditor, school board President Van White said in an interview today. 
click to enlarge City school board President Van White. - PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • City school board President Van White.

White said that the district is in the midst of assessing the auditor's findings, but that the findings were significant enough to warrant alerting State Education Commissioner Chancellor Betty Rosa, Mayor Lovely Warren, and City Council President Loretta Scott.  The district disclosed the auditor's concerns immediately, but more information is needed, White said.

"The goal right now is to get the facts," White said. "Anything more is speculation."  District officials will make a full, public presentation on the auditor's findings on Tuesday, October 8, White said.

The district's announcement will likely fuel Mayor Warren's contention that the district is a "broken" system in need of new leadership.

"The Rochester City School District's recent media release regarding its finances is deeply troubling," Justin Roj, communications director for the administration, said in a written statement today. "To convey that it is being 'transparent' about its finances while failing to provide any actual figures regarding its overspending is alarming."

Two potential areas of concern are mandated improvements in the district's special education services and increases in health insurance costs, district spokesperson Carlos Garcia said.

During the budget year in question, the district was led former Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams and Interim Superintendent Daniel Lowengard. Current Superintendent Terry Dade joined the district July 1.

This article has been updated.

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