RPS advocates call for Mayor Stoney to delay Education Compact

RICHMOND, Va. -- Standing outside of Richmond’s City Hall Wednesday afternoon, public education advocates called for Mayor Levar Stoney to delay the city's Education Compact.

The Education Compact is a collaborative group where City Council, Mayor Stoney and School Board members to all work together to improve education in the city.

"The superintendent search should and must be a priority," said one advocate.

The group said the new superintendent should be part of the compact process.

Jen Ramachandran, one of the founders of Support Richmond Public Schools and an RPS teacher, said they aren't asking for an end to the compact, but for city leaders to put it on pause.

“We feel as though a superintendent, someone who is here to have a voice for our schools, for our teachers should be at the table for those meetings, discussions to help implement and start the compact,” she said.

The idea of the Education Compact started during Stoney’s mayoral campaign, as a way for city leaders, City Council and School Board members to collaborate.

The team is designed to examine and make non-binding recommendations on key issues, such as long-term funding of the operating and capital needs of schools.

"We have all these agencies, we want to have them work together to help the same families. We have City Council and School Board, we want to make sure they’re talking enough so each other knows what’s going on in each other’s department,” said Dr. Thad Williamson, Mayor Stoney’s Senior Policy Advisor for Opportunity.

Williamson said he welcomes the dialogue about the Education Compact, but says he wants to make it clear they aren’t creating a strategic plan for the school system.

“We’re not mandating that the next superintendent do specific actions, that’s not at all our purpose for this stage,” he said.

Williamson said the Education Compact is crucial so city leaders can collaborate and work together to move the city forward.