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Advocates asking for additional $600M in school funding

Posted at 6:54 PM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 23:47:14-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- As members of the General Assembly gathered for a Special Session on Tuesday, several groups rallied in hopes of gaining support from lawmakers.

A "Support Our Schools" rally consisting of concerned teachers and parents gathered to ask senators and delegates to provide more funding and resources to schools.

“We demand that the 600 million dollars in flexible funding be allocated for school divisions for the 2020-21 school year," one attendee said. "With new challenges and safety protocols to follow, it will be incredibly burdensome for school divisions to find the funding within their local budgets to operate safely and equitably no matter what reopening plans look like.”

In the wake of what Governor Northam called a 2.7 billion dollar shortfall because of the coronavirus pandemic, Northam said major cuts would have to be made to the 2020-22 budget. (https://www.wtvr.com/news/virginia-politics/northam-unveils-budget-proposals-to-address-ongoing-pandemic)

He also proposed using $88 million to prevent evictions and $85 million to expand high-speed internet.

"So much of this conversation excludes students," one student said.

Meanwhile, those rallying outside said more conversation is needed, along with more dollars set aside for schools.

Community care starts with us. By funding our schools you are funding the means to create a better Richmond," a student said.

Ultimately, House and Senate budget negotiators will have a say in the final cuts to the two-year state budget.