Richmond schools get $3.8 million boost, but not for highlighted maintenance

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Richmond City Council members unanimously agreed to fill the school system’s $3.8 million budget gap, but that money will not go toward maintenance needs that were highlighted by hundreds of students in a protest outside of City Hall on Monday.

Roughly 200 students, most of them from Open High School in Oregon Hill, walked from the school to city hall in a “Walk Out” protest.

“Our Richmond public schools are literally falling apart,” said Isabelle Arias, a student at Open High School.

“We’ve done our research, we came with facts,” said Kelvin Tyler, also a student at Open High School.

The kids said they want the city to quickly fund the school system’s maintenance needs, which total roughly $100 million.

“What they are expressing is the same frustration that the school board has expressed, that the community has’s one about the condition of our buildings,” said Third District Richmond School Board member Jeff Bourne.

Student efforts earned a question and answer session with Mayor Dwight Jones, but they still were not satisfied.

“After our conversation with the mayor, we realized that Richmond Public Schools aren’t a priority,” Arias said.

A much smaller crowd of kids ended their day by, once again, coming together at City Hall to tell City Council what they want.

Council members did approve an additional $3.8 million for the schools, but that will not be used for maintenance improvements. The money will go towards operation funding, which covers day to day funding.

“We’re still so far off from our goal,” Arias said.

It’s a goal Arias said led her to step out of her comfort zone to fight for.

“It’s scary to get up and speak in front of adults about such important issues, but hopefully everything went well,” Arias said.



  • manalishi

    “The kids said they want the city to quickly fund the school system’s maintenance needs, which total roughly $100 million.” BBBWWWWWWAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

    “After our conversation with the mayor, we realized that Richmond Public Schools aren’t a priority,” Arias said.”

    You clowns are doomed!

    • TCB

      Well at least they have made a effort. It takes effort to produce progress, so stop judging these students for making an effort to help better the City of Richmond’s public schools. I’m proud of these students and their strategic protest. Even though the outcome was not exactly what they wanted to hear, they were able to get their needs noticed and was heard. So who’s actually the clown, the group of high school students, who fought for what is right and was heard, or you the person who is judging and name calling teenagers who fought for a cause. I think you know the answer to the question….you.

      -Proud Open High School Alunmi

    • VBCaptain

      You need to just be quiet. The schools in this system need the repairs, i have seen the crumbling floors and ceilings. I myself have been trying to start renovation projects at my own school. We care about the environment we learn in. If we didn’t have a safe environment that we feel comfortable in then we cannot learn to our fullest ability. We actually care about this, we are the students who in the future will be ruling the country why your ignorant self will be sitting on the streets with nothing. So don’t call them clowns for having more guts than you. We want to see a change. Don’t laugh at us for wanting that change.

      • manalishi

        Your too far out of touch from reality to function. If you really want the best for everybody, you must first criticize the people who vote for selfish reasons. When your parents vote for their own higher paycheck, pensions, healthcare, and personal pet peeves, all you get are stadiums and corruption. You have been organized and played (indoctrinated).

        “in the future will be ruling the country”. Sakes, they do’t even teach civics in richmond schools anymore? Ego trips is precisely the root of your school systems dilemma already.

        So what’s you next move? The wise thing to do to have an accountability discussion with the purveyor of this organized failure. Then regroup and pick a leader that has capability rather than a popular bad idea. And remember, Only frauds use the word “ignorant” as they struggle to sell you a bogus product. Don’t be one.

      • manalishi

        Its very simple Joe, Start with outside evaluations of job and payroll performance. Dump the deadbeats and their pensions, healthcare, per diems, ect. Privatize failed deparments such as the DSS and maybe even RPS

  • Becky

    Seems inherent in the positions, that The City’s
    Chief Executive Officer and the City’s Chief Administrative
    Officer’s duties, responsibilities, and obligations would include Management all city assets, resources, personnel management, Schools, Parks, facilities, buildings, grounds, streets and roads,infrastructure; along with their regularly required
    maintenance and upkeep supported by City’s tax revenues.
    Why is this City failure ceremoniously added to all the rest
    without any accountability for the Executive responsibility?

  • John

    I have no doubt that the schools are having maintenance issues. It was caused by mismanagement and neglect from the City leaders that were in charge for the past 30 years…not today’s leaders. Today’s leaders are trying to clean up the mess after the storm of the previous 30 years. Unfortunately, it takes time to clean up a big mess.
    If you want to blame somebody, put the blame on the past leaders that did nothing and various ones that went to prison for corruption.
    Mayor Jones is trying to get the engine running in this car so it can get on the road, and people riding in the car want a new radio. Please, use some common sense for how things operate.

    • manalishi

      BS John, Jones has squandered funds on everything from from the new jail, to a training camp and continues his fraud with a Shokoe stadium scam designed to make his cronies rich.

      Defending him makes you part of the problem and you cannot distract from it.

  • Marco

    Glenn Sturtevant has pushed for an audit of the city schools to find out just why so much money gets wasted, that’s a good start. They have a huge operating budget and still put our kids into dangerous conditions to receive poor educations.
    I look around the city and see schools sitting on huge tracts of property. Maybe start selling off all their superfluous property for residential development which will actually bring in tax dollars.

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