School board cuts tech upgrades, foreign language programs; keeps all schools open

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RICHMOND, Va -- After a months-long battle over funding for Richmond schools, the school board approved the budget for the next fiscal year Monday night.

The $280 million spending plan does not call for the closure of city schools, which district leaders had proposed as a cost-cutting measure to close a budget shortfall. Instead, though, there are cuts to other school programs that impact students.

Among those cuts: technology upgrades for schools, foreign language in elementary school, part-time bus monitors, and part-time custodians.

One of the biggest cuts was for the technology upgrades, for $1.2 million. Another $2.3 million were cut from the Academic Improvement Plan.

Several programs did remain funded. Dual enrollment and AP programs and part-time bus operators funding remained intact.

The School Board had an $18 million budget gap to begin with, and the City Council agreed to give them an increase of $5.5 million in operating funds, and $4 million for capital improvement. That left $8.5 million to cut.

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