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‘It’s a far cry from what we need;’ city finds $3.6 million for schools

Posted at 6:16 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 18:16:39-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The belt tightening continues at City Hall, as administrators struggle with a $9 million budget shortfall in a projected $700 million budget.

City Council spent the day discussing which budget items could be cut; while tedious, the cuts will directly impact everyone that works and plays in Richmond.

Both the Richmond Police Department and the Richmond Public Schools Superintendent have argued for more fiscal resources.

After number crunching, the mayor's office found about $3.6 million in additional revenue projections for next year's budget.

Though the deliberations took some time, council voted unanimously to send the extra money straight to the school district. A move that activists, teachers, and students have vocally supported for quite some time.

The school system has asked for about $18 million more than Jones set aside for them in 2017.

City Council was specific about how they want that money used.

Dr. Dana Bedden said the new revenue may help improve teacher pay , which he said is his number one priority.

He added though that  $3 million only closes a small chunk of the gap between what the schools need and what council will provide.

As one school board member said, "it's a far cry from what we need."

Police Chief Durham is slated to speak at the city work session. Last week he attempted to address city council but  discussion surrounding Mayor Jones’ security detail derailed the conversation. The mayor's security detail grew to half a million dollars this year, up $100,000 from last year.