Rochester has some of the most segregated schools in the country. This has major impacts on our children. Studies have shown schools with a high concentration of impoverished children have lower achievement. In Rochester, more than half of children live in poverty. All of our city schools have a high concentration of students from low-income households.

We must desegregate our schools. A countywide school system is one solution, but there’s no legal mechanism or political will to accomplish this goal.

Another option is to desegregate our schools from within. The city is racially and economically diverse, but our schools are not. The problem is people with means are moving when their children reach school age or choosing private schools. If we build a critical mass, we can encourage families to try city schools together. Every school must provide enrichment and opportunity to all. Diversity in schools will help children from all walks of life.

We must slow the proliferation of charter schools. They are not held to the same accountability and transparency standards as traditional public schools. Charter schools cannot and will not serve all children. A strong public school system ensures no child is left behind. It ensures a strong community where all children can find success.