Richmond mayor to discuss school accountability, efficiency

Posted at 7:47 AM, Mar 19, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-19 07:58:39-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - A task force put together by Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones to figure out if Richmond Public School leaders are spending money wisely meets Monday morning.

Earlier this year Mayor Jones questioned how the school district spent its money. The mayor said he does not agree fully with the cuts the school district has offered to make.

That is why Mayor Jones established a team of government, business and school administration specialists to try and close the $24 million gap in the school district’s budget without raising the real estate tax.

“You wish you had more money to get things done,” task force leader and former Virginia Secretary of Education James W. Dyke, Jr. said in an interview earlier this month. “But the reality is we don’t have all the money available that we’d like to have.”

Some Richmond City Council members told CBS 6 they’re dedicated to helping the school board find solutions to their problems, but council president Kathy Graziano said deep cuts may be coming.

"We have dedicated teachers, dedicated school board, dedicated tax payers who, in this economy, can’t afford to have their taxes raised,” Graziano said earlier this month.

The Mayor's Schools Accountability and Efficiency Review Task Force has four meetings scheduled in March and a public hearing scheduled for April 3 at 5:00 p.m. That public hearing will take place in City Council Chambers.

School budget issues are not unique to Richmond. Chesterfield Schools face a $7 million budget shortfall. [Click here for more]

In Henrico, the 2013 budget includes measures to make up a $26.3 million shortfall. [Click here for more]