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Richmond School Board delays vote amid concerns

Posted at 11:59 PM, Jun 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-16 06:44:08-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Worried about teacher shuffling, students and parents packed a school board meeting Monday tonight to let members know how they feel about potential teacher cuts at Open and Community High School.

Superintendent Dana Bedden insisted no jobs would be lost and said his office is only working to balance the teacher-student ratio at all of the system's secondary schools, a process known as leveling.

A vote was delayed until Wednesday’s meeting, which left some worried.

"The clock is very much ticking on this right now,” said Abe Jeffers, Richmond Public Schools executive director of secondary schools. “We can't go out and hire people because we don't know right now what the will is. We have a lot of vacancies, without leveling, if we stop the leveling process as we did tonight, we're not going to be able to hire anyone."

The school board said $5 million is on hold in their budget just to hire teachers.

The morning before the meeting, dozens of students and graduates of Open High School in Oregon Hill marched around City Hall in downtown Richmond. The students held signs and protested potential cuts to teacher positions at their school.