This week Rochester Senator Joe Robach joined with his Senate colleagues, Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco and Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan to state their opposition to the Mayor of New York City saying that children in his city need universal pre-K more than Upstate municipalities such as Rochester.Joe Robach Rochester Education

In their statement, Senator’s Joe Robach, DeFrancisco and Flanagan stated:

As members of the New York State Senate, we are deeply offended (the) recent assertion that the children in New York City are more deserving and more in need of early childhood education than the 4 and 5-year-olds in the communities we represent.

We know Mayor DeBlasio has a lot on his plate, but he may be interested in learning a few facts about the rest of the state. All four of the big city school districts, including Rochester Syracuse and Buffalo, are poorer than New York City, and 70 percent (471) of the school districts across the state – – serving more than 1.2 million students – – are less wealthy than the one he represents.

In addition, 20 percent of the school districts in New York State have a greater percentage of students with higher needs than New York City, and many of those districts are worse off than the worst parts of New York City. Meanwhile, the City of Rochester has the fifth highest poverty rate among all U.S. cities. In fact, during legislative budget hearings we heard testimony from many Upstate mayors about the difficulties their cities are facing.

We have a responsibility to provide every student in this state with the same opportunity to learn and to succeed, not just the students in New York City.

In addition to fighting for better education for Rochester youth, Senator Joe Robach is fighting to bring the Rochester economy out of the dire situation it is in along with making it a great place for people from all walks of life to live, work and raise a family. For more information on Senator Joe Robach work on the issue of education, please visit