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Mayor, superintendent join Richmond students marching for more funding

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras and Mayor Levar Stoney joined students and community members in demanding that the state increase education funding.

The RPS March for More began Saturday morning at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School and ended at the State Capitol building.

“We are here today to demand a future where all children in Virginia, of all backgrounds, receive a world-class education that prepares them to pursue their greatest dreams – whatever they may be,” RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras said. “It’s time to do right by our children by putting real dollars on the table for the Commonwealth’s schools and it’s time for the state to do their part.”

According to RPS, Richmond's per student funding has decreased by 19-percent and statewide funding is down 9-percent despite economic growth in the city and an increase in the student population.

"We have been asked to do more with less and we have continuously made cuts to the point that we can't cut anymore," said RPS School Board Chairwoman Dawn Page.

While the state is only required to own 45-percent of education funding, RPS reports that Virginia localities efforts to account for insufficient funds has the state owning about 57-percent of total funding.The district is applying pressure ahead of the General Assembly's legislation season, which convenes on Jan. 9.

“Today, I come here to stand with leaders from across the Commonwealth who care about public education,” Mayor Levar Stoney said. “Localities throughout the state cannot do this alone. We need help and we’re looking for our state leaders and legislators to stand up for our kids.”

A teacher led RedforEd March is scheduled for Jan. 28 and will also march to the capitol.