Ahead of planned school march, city leaders discuss sustainable revenue

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RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones met with council members, along with school and city leaders, Monday to discuss ways to generate sustainable revenue to avoid budget shortfalls in the future.

A formula is needed, city leaders said, to help take care of outdated buildings, transportation, and salaries.

Richmond Public School officials have proposed closing six schools and reducing bus service due to a budget shortfall.

Though nothing concrete came from the talks, the mayor and school superintendent agreed that the conversations are a step in the right direction for Richmond Public Schools.

"At some point you have to create a mechanism for sustainable revenue so that you know what you’re working with so that you can give the services to our children and our schools but that you can also give the services to our citizens, so it's not an either-or,” said Dana Bedden, RPS Superintendent.

Concerned citizens plan to march to City Council later this day, in support of city schools. This comes two weeks after at least 100 Richmond students walked out of Open High School, a Richmond specialty school, in protest of the City’s handling of money allocated to city schools.

They were joined by students from other schools. The high school students met up with several teachers, younger students and their parents at City Hall to hold a rally before that night’s city council meeting.

The meeting was so crowded, that police had to direct students, parents and teachers to overflow conference rooms on four other floors of City Hall.

Another schools investment funding program work group meeting is scheduled for May 16.

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