Standing up for the truth

July 17, 2015 04:10

By Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director

In Rochester, New York, WHEC-TV has been investigating a growing problem in that upstate New York community: Why is school enrollment declining while district budgets continue to grow by millions of dollars every year?

And what they’re finding apparently isn’t sitting too well with those who run the schools. Some are now taking the approach of simply refusing to talk or communicate in any way with News10NBC!

To give you an idea of how Carmen Gumina, Superintendent of the Webster CSD in Rochester is now dealing with (or more accurately, not dealing with) WHEC when it comes to the station’s requests for information and answers—consider this exchange at a recent public meeting of the Webster School Board:
 
Superintendent Gumina to Reporter Berkeley Brean: “We no longer deal at all with Channel 10. So you need to leave the premises.”
Brean:  “Why?”
Gumina: “…we no longer deal with Channel 10.”
Brean:  “What have I done?”
Gumina:  “You have to leave.”
Brean:  “I have to leave a public meeting?”
Gumina: “You have to leave a public meeting. Channel 10 is no longer allowed in our premises.”

And that’s the way it’s been going as WHEC tries to get some answers as to why the Webster school district has lost an average of 100 student every year for the past five, yet its budget has increased more than $14 million. And similar problems exist in other Rochester-area districts, as well.

VP and GM Derek Dalton felt it was time for him to get into this fray. So he sent this eloquent letter to Gumina Thursday and copied every other superintendent in the market (in case they were considering similar actions).

No response yet from Gumina, and the story continues as News10NBC probes in other ways for answers to these important questions. Dalton told me the viewer response has been “amazing,” with Channel 10’s social media channels lighting up with requests that the station continue its investigation.

RTDNA applauds the news team at WHEC and GM Dalton for their dogged pursuit of the truth in a story that affects every taxpayer and parent in Rochester.  We stand ready to help in any way we can!