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December 22, 2021

Community groups, lawmakers, parents and education unions question RCSD monitor’s charter school side job

Source:  NYSUT Media Relations
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  • COMMUNITY GROUP CONTACT: Rosemary Rivera, Citizen Action of New York, 585-520-6542
  • LEGISLATIVE CONTACT: Allan Richards, Office of Assemblymember Harry Bronson, 585-244-5255, richardsa@nyassembly.gov
  • UNION CONTACT: NYSUT Media Relations, 518-213-6000, mediarel@nysut.org

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Dec. 22, 2021 — Community groups, state lawmakers, parents and education unions today called on the Rochester City School District’s state-appointed monitor Dr. Shelley Jallow to either drop her second job working for a charter school management organization, as reported by the Democrat & Chronicle, or leave her position as monitor.

Metro Justice, Citizen Action of New York, Rochester Community Coalition to Save Our Schools, state Sen. Samra Brouk, state Sen. Jeremy Cooney, Assemblymember Harry Bronson, Assemblymember Sarah Clark, Assemblymember Demond Meeks, Assemblymember Jennifer Lunsford, Rochester Teachers Association President Adam Urbanski, Rochester Association of Paraprofessionals President Angie Rivera, Association of Supervisors and Administrators President John Rowe, Board of Education Non-Teaching Employees President Dan DiClemente and New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta released the following statement:

“Rochester students deserve the dedication and full attention of all adults in charge of providing them with high-quality public schools that give every single one of them an opportunity to succeed. They have it from RCSD staff, administrators, lawmakers and community leaders. It’s devastating to learn the state monitor is giving them divided attention.

“By not disclosing this second job, Dr. Jallow has violated the trust Rochester is putting in her to help us foster an environment in which students thrive. What’s more, her position with a charter school management organization is a clear conflict of interest for someone responsible for improving the public schools established to serve all students equally.

“Dr. Jallow must make a choice: Leave her second job and recommit herself to her work on behalf of Rochester, or leave her monitor position and allow the state to appoint a monitor who is truly invested in our children.”

In addition, Rochester parents also are calling on Jallow to commit to serving Rochester, not charter schools outside the community.

“Our students deserve more than part-time focus from our leaders,” said Haydee Verdejo, the parent of a second-grader at School #17. “Rochester has been through too much. Our schools deserve better. We need someone who will vouch for our city schools and our schools only. How can you focus on an entire school district and run another? Please focus on our children who need it.”

“As a parent and former RCSD employee, I've seen the extent of our district’s needs from both sides. RCSD is one of the most underprivileged districts in upstate New York, and having a part-time monitor making full-time decisions for students just isn’t right,” said Rosa Ramon, whose son is a sixth-grader at School of the Arts. “If any monitor isn’t willing to give our youth their full dedication, step down and let someone who is take over. Our kids need undivided attention, dedication, care and reassurance.”

“All of our kids are important and are a part of this district,” said Cassie Rivera, the parent of a School #22 sixth-grader. “It saddens me to see RCSD being neglected in any way.”

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New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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