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Are politics delaying RPS rezoning plans?

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–The Richmond Public School board was slated to vote on school rezoning and closure plans back in June; but pushed the vote to July and then delayed again until August.

This comes after months of presentations and hearings about proposed plans from the school system’s rezoning committee.

Board member Dawn Page told CBS 6 that on August 6, the board will vote on the rezoning committee’s plans for schools on the city’s Southside, including the closure of Summer Hill elementary school and deciding which students will attend two new elementary schools that open in 2013.

“That was not a recommendation from us,” said Shonda Harris-Muhammed, chair of the rezoning committee and school board candidate.“That was already in place.” 

Muhammed said that plans to close Summer Hill elementary were already part of the school system’s building plan. “They’re voting on something they’ve already decided on,” she said.  

Muhammed said not much work has been accomplished in the process, and she attributed that to politics. “It’s a political year, some board members do not want to make a decision because they are running for re-election,” said Muhammed.

“There’s some validity to that,” said Page, however she mentions they will resolve the school system’s rezoning issues before the term expires for current board members at the end of the year.

Page said that the rezoning plans were pushed back to this point because the bidding process for the new elementary schools was also delayed.

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