RCSD Receives Competitive Education Grant

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Rochester is one of four districts that have been awarded a competitive education grant, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office said Tuesday.

Twelve million dollars will be awarded over three years, which will give the districts $21 million per year in efficiency savings, the governor said.

Specifically, Rochester City School District will receive $4.5 million of the bonus over the next three years. The grant was awarded in recognition of $9.5 million in cost reductions since 2011.

“The simple truth is that New York State spends more money per pupil than any other state in the nation, yet continually lags behind in student performance,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We cannot continue to ask taxpayers for more and more money; rather our education system must

become more efficient and focus spending on student achievement. We must pay for performance, and the four districts we are awarding today stand out as leading examples of where innovation and bold action can reduce inefficiency and unnecessary costs.”

According to Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, the funds will be used to support a new pre-kindergarten program for three-year-old children at Audubon School No. 33; expanded-day learning for more students in 2013-14; and a new textbook management system.

The state grant will also allow the district to hire a staff member who can focus on continuing to improve the efficiency of administration and operations, Vargas said.

The other districts receiving the grant include Newburgh; Queensbury, Warren County; and Kenmore-Tonawanda, Erie County.

In addition, RCSD is one of five districts that have been invited to apply for an educational priorities grant.