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Richmond School Board members vote against school closures

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RICHMOND, Va. -- After a lively School Board meeting Monday night, the Richmond School Board decide not to close any Richmond schools due to budget cuts. School Board members voted 6 to 3 to remove the closure proposal off the budget discussion chopping block.

Last week, Richmond City Council approved the City’s 2017 operating budget, which included an increase of $5.5 million in operating funds. An additional $4 million will go to capital improvement projects, which are long term and have a separate budget from year to year operations, school leaders said.

Monday's vote comes two weeks after Richmond Schools Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden said schools could still close after the budget increase was reached.

Armstrong High School and four elementary schools were proposed to help close the then, $18 million budget gap.

Monday, several members of community spoke before board's discussion saying they weren't happy with board's ideas.

The School Board still has some hard decisions to make to close the budget gap. They're expected to vote on other items to cut next week.