Via Richmond Magazine’s @__MarkRobinson at tonight’s School Board Meeting. Also: “Elementary schools on the proposed closure list: Swansboro, John B. Cary, Southampton and Overby-Sheppard.”
What time is this meeting?
Would this be a bad thing? I am genuinely unsure how this proposal would impact the quality of education for high school kids in our city and in the East End. Which is something about which I care deeply.
Richmond school officials to consider closing Armstrong High, five elementary schools
“Stressing that it was a hypothetical scenario at this point, Thomas E. Kranz, assistant superintendent of facilities for the school system, presented the school board a list of which schools would be considered for closure if the board is forced to cut $18 million from its proposed fiscal 2017 budget.”
maybe the redskins would be willing to provide some financial support, you know, for the good of the city…?
From Don Coleman, 7th District School Board rep –
A Message from 7th District School Board Member Don Coleman
On Monday night April 4th, it was revealed that Armstrong High School is being recommended for closure as a part of the RPS administration’s plan to meet an operational shortfall of $17.4 million in our upcoming budget. This is a serious recommendation, but not a done deal. I will be communicating very frequently as this process moves forward. Our fiscal crisis is real and there are only so many ways to save money without additional dollars from our funding sources.
Now a personal note: I am a proud graduate of Armstrong High School –a Wildcat through and through– so the thought of that name no longer being involved with a functioning school is sobering.
7th District RPS Board Member
Please – no more multi-million dollar traffic circle projects until the schools are funded. No more new monuments or anything else not VITAL until the schools are funded.
Increased funding for the city’s schools will leave no safe space for its most important demographic: its taxpayers.
Emotional rhetoric is being directed at Richmond residents as people lobby for increased funding for city schools, including a recent push from the city’s school superintendent, a man whose salary at $225,000.00 a year is the highest salary ever paid for a Richmond superintendent.
America’s national debt is at an all time high with a 2012 cost per person of $48,700.00 (Politifact Virginia, 2012).
Both the national and per-person debt are now higher and trackable ‘real time’ by way of the debt clock at http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Richmond recently announced a $9,000,000 shortfall because of funds given to the city’s schools last year. Now the superintendent is requesting an additional $18,000,000.00 that the city doesn’t have – any current local media source
63% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500.00 emergency bill – Forbes, January 2016
Homeownership nationwide has fallen to a twenty-year low – Wall Street Journal, January 2015
During 2015, foreclosures in Richmond spiked 51% from 2014 figures – Richmond Times Dispatch, January 2016
Since 2013 there has been a record number of U.S. citizens ‘not in labor force’ – U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics, March 2016
Tens of millions of seniors will see no annual cost-of-living increase in their social security checks in 2016 for only the third time in 40 years (all of these times during the current administration) Washington Post, October 2015
Only part-way through the tax season, H&R Block reported that uninsured filers are paying more than twice as much as they did last year in penalties – Washington Times, March 2016
Services in the city have been in decline for years (not just snow removal and leaf collection, which are on Dr. Bedden’s list of things he implies we can do without in Richmond) including that of first responders, a shortage of cops and firefighters that puts all of us at risk.
And the list goes on….
Recent talk even includes a specious challenge to city taxpayers: decide which is more important – services or children.
I grew up in Ricmond and was educated in its public schools and I’ve watched Richmond’s resurgence over the past few years…a resurgence that’s occurred primarily because of taxpayers and often in spite of the city’s machinations.
But now some members of council may be poised to not only kill the geese that lay the golden eggs but all the geese – by adding to the financial burden already carried by Richmond’s residents and businesses while chanting that the city schools need more money because ‘our children are our future’ and ‘our children are our most precious resource.’
Such claims about students and children are emotional and subjective, certainly not based on verifiable facts or evidence; and certainly not worth putting another group of citizens at risk.
How can our city’s leaders increase the tax burden on us, the taxpayers?
Taxpayers are the foundation on which both Richmond and America rests. Taxpayers are our future and our most precious resource.
Armstrong High alumni say they’ll fight to keep school open
@9 As a taxpayer, I would like to see well funded schools, so I don’t feel like I have to take my tax dollars to the county when I have kids in order to shield them from falling ceiling tiles.
And it’s not just the buildings that needed funding. We need to pay good teachers and administrators with experience in city public schools. Our schools have been so neglected – why are they on the bottom of the list of “must have” items on the budget?
Richmond School System’s is already well funded – Virginia Department of Education figures for FY 2009 show the three highest cost School Divisions in the state: Virginia Beach with a 2014 population of 437,994 at $767,587,617; Chesapeake with a 2013 population of 230,571 at $431,661,635; and Richmond at $295,067,248. Of these three school divisions (and topping all of Virginia school divisions) Richmond’s cost per pupil expenditure is $13,601. Again, the figures from the Virginia DOE site are from the 2008 annual report. I wasn’t able to locate more current figures.
Richmond schools are not well funded. I do not know who to fact check Ann, but I can tell you that there is no money in the schools. I can believe there is waste, but I know that our teachers are among the lowest paid in the state. Highest cost does not exactly mean the highest funded.
Figures in #13 from “Final Table 15, School Divisions” (not Richmond county on the Northern Neck) Virginia Department of Education annual report FY 2009: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/statistics_reports/supts_annual_report/2008_09/table15.pdf
Well said, Ann.
I have brought my children up in the RPS system, and I can tell you there is a funding problem. These schools have no money and the teachers are poorly compensated. You can tell me it well-funded and try to blind me with figures, but I can plainly see the schools are lacking the funds for basic repairs and to hire decent staff.
BTW, your link is from 2008 – it is 2016.
I do not see how the city can pay for a multi-million dollar project on Main street before it funds the schools. I believe the “facts” about the school costs should be seen in context with other items the city is spending money on. I bet the schools are on the bottom the list.
1) What are the enrollment numbers at Armstrong and the other 4 High Schools versus their capacity? If the enrollment does not justify keeping all the schools open then the responsible thing is to at least evaluate the option of closing a school. Other major cities have consolidated schools successfully in recent times to address their budget woes.
2) Keeping a school running comes out of the operating budget. Transportation infrastructure improvements come out of the Capital expense budget.It’s foolhardy to compare expenses from different budgets. I’m not that familiar with the background on the Main Street circle Nadine belabors. But I know that, for instance, a project like the future BRT on Broad Street is getting >= $25 million of federal TIGER funding. To kill the BRT over optics regarding the shortfall in the operating budget would would mean walking away from >= $25 million in federal $$.
I myself was brought up in the RPS system, enduring twelve years that began in Ginter Park and ended at John Marshall.
I’m certainly not trying to blind anyone with figures, but perhaps Virginia’s Department of Education is.
The link I included was sort of for 2008 but also sort of for 2009: the link was for the fiscal year. And this is indeed 2016 as you point out but for some reason the DOE doesn’t post that particular table, Table 15, until about tax time each April so anything more recent than 2014 won’t be available until next week sometime.
And here’s a link to FY 2014 which shows that although RPS is now fallen to second place in the state among school division spending per pupil, the RPS budget has increased from FY 2009 by about $5million dollars: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2015/097-15a.pdf
Proposed Schools Closing Town Hall Meeting