K9 and helicopter search underway for escaped inmate

See how Richmond Public Schools spends your money

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — There could be a new era of transparency for Richmond Public Schools after the city’s top investigator said the system wasted money.

Now you’ll get to see exactly how the the school system is spending your money, from your computer or even your cell phone.

Glen Sturtevant, a Richmond school board member, said the board is looking to post their check register online, letting you see everything the school system purchases.

This comes after an audit revealed, the school system’s finances and $320 million budget need more oversight, especially at the lower level.

Sturtevant hopes this move will be a deterrent for any school employees looking to misuse school funds.

“Folks will know that there are plenty of watchdogs and those who will look and see when money is not being spent wisely,” Sturtevant told CBS 6 News’ Lorenzo Hall.

A school system constantly berated for mishandling funds, even by Mayor Dwight Jones, parents and staff we spoke with are mixed about this much transparency.

Ruth Mason said she doesn’t feed the school systems needs to “have that much transparency when it comes to finances.”

However, Chaya Coleman said the accountability will “help put all of our questions to the side.”

And this is not the only step the school system is taking for more accountability. Starting the next budget cycle, RPS board members will tear up their old budget template and start from scratch.

This means every department in the school system will have to explain why they need money for every item requested.

Sturtevant said this will keep the district from spending on often-times overlooked and unnecessary expenses.

“We’ll get to see exactly where every dollar is being spent. We’ll get to see why exactly it’s being spent,” Sturtevant said.

Richmond will be the first school system in Virginia to post its check register online.

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