Mayor approves $700k in emergency funding for city schools

Posted at 3:56 PM, May 14, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-14 15:56:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Richmond City Schools will receive more than $730,000 in “emergency funding for schools’ capital projects,” according to a statement from City Hall. The money was requested by Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden.

“Our first order of business was to reach our budget agreement with City Council, which we announced on Monday,” Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones said in a statement. “I’m very pleased that the compromise with City Council led to an additional $2 million being added to the $5 million in my budget for new funding for capital needs in our schools. This represents nearly a 700% increase in capital funding. The additional $732,000 requested is to be added to those funds, and I’ve committed to identifying those funds for the schools’ use.”

The capital improvements would begin after the current school year ended.

“Providing the additional funds they need to attend to the items they have now identified will ensure that building needs are continuously addressed and the school system can focus on performance issues. I don’t want them to have any distractions that may take away from addressing performance needs in our schools,” the mayor said.

Earlier this month CBS 6 investigated the condition of Richmond City Schools and found an assessment report of school facilities shows the district is in need of at least $100 million to fix everything from the brick exterior at John Marshall High School, to the vinyl asbestos floor tiles at Woodville Elementary.

“On behalf of the students, staff and School Board of Richmond Public Schools, I want to thank the Mayor for his support of our request for additional funding to address our unplanned school facility needs,” Dr. Bedden said. “Individually, I am appreciative that the Mayor extended an opportunity for me to meet and discuss these and other school- related issues with him directly. Our charge, which the administration eagerly accepts, will be to ensure the effective and efficient use of this investment to create a better teaching and learning environment for our students and staff.”

This is a developing story.