There was anger and outrage inside Richmond’s City Hall, just hours after consultants recommended cutting teachers and other school employees to fill a $23.8 million dollar budget deficit.
A crowd of people voiced their fears and frustrations to the Richmond City Council during a public hearing Tuesday night. The meeting was to discuss the mayor’s city budget, but Richmond Schools dominated the conversation.
“Let`s turn this thing around and turn it the other way,” said parent, Garry Callis.”Let`s start the budget funding the schools and let’s see where the money falls behind that.”
The consultants called for—among other changes–eliminating 92 positions, including 20 teachers, 20 instructional aides, 25 custodians and 13 security officers.
City Council has the final say on the amount of money that goes to schools. Two members of its members have differing opinions.
“I’m convinced that what was done and what was needed was to purify the numbers,” said councilman, Marty Jewell. “The recommendations are just recommendations”
“I have not seen them yet,” he added.
“We`re going to find money for them, it doesn`t mean we`ll fund the $24 million dollars, but what is necessary for them [the school system] to do their job,” said councilman Bruce Tyler.
A decision on school funding is far from over. The consultants’ suggestions must be reviewed by a Richmond city task force before it goes to City Council.