Given that boundaries are not going to change anytime soon, Rochester has to dig deep to find solutions to contend with its unflattering numbers. Our well-intentioned local papers seem to place the onus on those not living in poverty to improve conditions for those living in poverty. While everyone would love to help, here are a few statistics which show that we are already trying pretty hard, to no avail:
- During fiscal year 2013, New York State had the highest annual per-pupil spending of any state at $19,818. In 2013, the Rochester City School District spent $20,333 per pupil, third highest in the country among the 217 districts with over 30,000 students, and higher than most suburban districts in Monroe County.
- In fiscal year 2014, New York State spent $54 billion on Medicaid, second only to California (though far exceeding California on a per-capita basis), and crushing more populated Texas ($32 billion).
- Among the 51 largest U.S. metro areas, Rochester has the fifth highest rate of volunteerism.
- Two of the highest performing elementary schools in the region speak against a problem with overt racism - Mendon Center Elementary School in Pittsford is 28% non-white, and French Road Elementary School in Brighton is 30% non-white.
Coming from someone who votes Democrat, we have to at some point accept that those not in poverty cannot help those in poverty unless some return effort is exhibited.