Children's Agenda offers budget analysis for Rochester

Jun 20, 2017
Originally published on June 20, 2017 12:20 pm

A local youth advocacy organization is making an offer to the Rochester City School District.

The Children’s Agenda has a new project to analyze the district’s annual $920 million budget.

CEO of The Children’s Agenda, Larry Marx, says that no other local budget has as much of an impact on the well-being of area  youth as the city school district budget does.

“Without a doubt, the most consequential with impact of local children and youth is the Rochester City school district budget. It’s almost twice the size of the city’s budget and every dollar spent goes directly to affecting kid’s lives..."

Marx says the Children’s Agenda hopes to release its analysis of the school budget next year. He says his organization really wants to work together with the district on improving education outcomes.

“We’re hoping to partner with the school district and come up with some out-of-the-box  ideas as an independent outside voice, whose only concern is what works best for children and what children need most. So, we see this as very much as collaborative and a partnership."

Rochester school board president Van White welcomes the additional input.

“I've always believed, my colleagues at the board of education have always believed, that if we're going to turn this thing around, we’re going to have to do it with everyone in the community and certainly the Children's Agenda has a lot of experience," White told WXXI News.

White says the district always needs to be   looking at ways to improve, not only in terms of instruction, but how resources are allocated.

The Children's Agenda expects to come out with its analysis sometime next year.

On Tuesday, the organization is presenting its annual analysis of the Rochester city budget to City Council before Council’s vote on the spending plan.

The report from the Children’s Agenda highlights the need to:

-Invest more in areas like experienced staff in R-Centers

-Make Rochester a more playful city.

-move toward public safety approaches that reflect science for showing teens should be treated differently than adults

-consider creative revenue generation strategies to invest appropriately in its children and youth.