Below is an excerpt from a Democrat and Chronicle editorial that first appeared on May 31. The editorial urges the state legislature to approve a temporary takeover of the Rochester City School District—the first time the paper has made this call.
The full editorial and a video message from Mayor Lovely Warren can be found here.
We call on New York State Assembly Members Harry Bronson, David Gantt and Jamie Romeo; New York State Senators Rich Funke, Joe Robach and Michael Ranzenhofer; all other elected state representatives from our region; and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to recognize their opportunity to create a life-changing legacy.
We call on them to support Mayor Lovely Warren, whom an overwhelming majority of city voters chose to represent them, in her call for state takeover of the Rochester City School District.
At this moment in time, only our elected state legislators have the power to disrupt our education system. Only they hold the legislative authority and moral obligation to begin the reform that is long overdue. Only they can start to change a broken structure that cannot change itself. If they do not act now, they are failing Rochester’s children.They are also failing our entire community, perhaps for generations to come.
They must pass legislation to replace the Rochester City School Board with an appointed board. Those who claim this will rob city residents of their right to select school leaders are not facing reality. Most city residents have voluntarily given up this privilege already. Voter turnout for school board elections hovers around 10 percent, and campaigns are heavily influenced by unions. City residents do not show up for school board elections because they do not believe their votes will change anything, as decades of experience have taught them. A democracy does not work when there is no positive outcome for those who participate in it.