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Richmond School Board approves $301.6 million operating budget

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RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond School Board voted 7-1 on Tuesday night to approve the 2018 fiscal year budget. The $301.6 million operating budget request will now be sent to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney for final approval.

The budget request represents about a $21 million increase from the current budget.

It was one of three options the board considered.

Teachers and parents who spoke with CBS called the approved option, Option 3, a needs-based budget. They called it a a positive step forward for students and Richmond schools.

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Some budget requests include Middle School athletics, a multicultural service center, and money to make sure there is one nurse for every school in the city.

Richmond School Board member Jonathan Young was the one member who did not vote for Option 3.

Young called Option 3 an unbalanced budget and argued the revenues may not transpire.

School Board Member Scott Barlow said while the school system may not get everything it asked for, the budget request documents what the school system needs.

"We understand that our City has a lot of fiscal constraints, and we need to operate in those in some degree, but I do think there has been some unprecedented efforts to engage with the Mayor’s Office,” said Barlow.

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Keri Treadway, a teacher at Fox Elementary, was among those who spoke to the Board before the vote.

Treadway, part of the Support Our Schools Coalition, thanked the board listening to concerns about passing a needs-based budget.

“This is going to allow the public an opportunity to really look at what is in the proposal, and when we do find out how much we get from the City, it’s going to allow all the stakeholders to come back to the School Board and really advocate for what they feel is their top priority,” said Treadway.