River City Rapids has a look at 7th District Schoolboard rep Keith West and a link to an interview with Mr.West on WRVA.
The Richmond School Board voted 8-1 against a resolution Monday night that would have sent a signal to Mayor L. Douglas Wilder that the board supported his call for an â€œexternal, independentâ€ audit of the school system. Board member Keith West (7th), who sponsored the resolution and cast the sole vote in favor of it, said the motion was a chance for both parties to move forward.
Here’s what Keith said in the WRVA interview:
â€œThe public spends lavishly on the Richmond School System, and I think they have a right to know how well that money is being spent. To me, itâ€™s a non-controversial idea that you would have somebody to come in and take a look at that, especially when we have so much evidence, year after year, report after report, saying that a lot of money is not being spent as well as it can.
â€œWhen the Mayor came out with the City of the Future plan, he gave the school system, the school board, the public, a wonderful gift saying that weâ€™re going to build you new schools and the only thing he asked was a plan for which schools are you going to close, so that we can free up the money to build these new schools.Â The school board came back with this very provocative document saying, â€˜Weâ€™re not going to close anything until you actually build us something else.â€™Â How is that going about â€˜biting the hand that feeds youâ€™?Â The school board has brought a lot of these problems on itself.Â I really do wish we would get away from that type of attitude and start trying to work together to benefit the kids, rather than trying to take this stand about whoâ€™s in control of what.â€
I couldn’t agree more with Keith’s remarks. I’m thrilled that he is on the schood board. I’ve known Keith and his family for years. He’s a great guy and a very capable leader – we’re lucky to have him serving our community.
He and Wilder have been invited to the April CHA membership meeting to discuss the state of the Richmond school system.
I believe an audit is definitely due, because the money that we’re allegedly giving to the schools damn sure isn’t making it to the classrooms. I spent all afternoon Thursday in my RPS-teacher Girlfriend’s classroom putting together furniture that we personally bought to accommodate the overflow of students in her classes. On the way home, we had to stop and copy $75 worth of class handouts at Kinko’s (because the school was almost out of 8.5×11 white paper and might not have any more for a while)- $75 which likely won’t be reimbursed because RPS hasn’t even paid teachers the extra money due for afterschool tutoring and other programs.
And while I’d love to know where the waste is, I have very little faith that Mayor Douggie will do anything to help the situation. His cutting funds trick is only going to drive away the good teachers who still manage to give a shit about RPS despite walking into a clusterfuck every morning. West’s compliments to the Mayor seem a little too cozy for my comfort, but I do applaud him for trying to slap some sense into the school board. Hopefully he’s not merely a Wilder yes-man, which would be just as damaging as Braxton’s idiocy.
His cutting funds trick is only going to drive away the good teachers who still manage to give a shit about RPS despite walking into a clusterfuck every morning.
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