ASSEMBLY STANDING COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
The Rochester city school district is governed by a seven member board of education. The board employs a superintendent to implement policies of the board throughout the city school district. As one of the Big 5 school districts in the State, the Rochester city school district serves a population of students with very diverse educational needs, including high percentages of students at or below the poverty level, students with disabilities and English language learners.
Several concerns have been raised in relation to the provision of educational services and the management of the school district. Despite substantial State and local investments in education in previous years, educational achievement has not progressed, with school district graduation rates around 50 percent. In addition, concerns have been raised regarding the financial management of the school district, with an audit released by the State Comptroller in January 2010 concluding that the board of education had not protected the school district's financial interests and had failed to develop sound policies to manage resources or monitor finances.
On June 9, 2010, the Assembly introduced legislation which would enact comprehensive reforms to the governance of the Rochester city school district which would be implemented on July 1, 2011. The Assembly Committee on Education is interested in hearing from affected parties regarding the Rochester city school district and governance changes contained within the introduced legislation, including the effect the proposed changes may have on delivery of educational services to all students and the potential impacts on the operational administration of the school district.
Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at this public hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.
Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements. Please also note if a witness wishes to provide written testimony only, it can be incorporated into the official record if it is received prior to 5:00 pm the day before the hearing.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.