Mayor Jones' Budget Gives More to Richmond Schools - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Mayor Jones' Budget Gives More to Richmond Schools

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Parents and students living in Richmond are calling on city leaders to spend more money on Richmond Public Schools rather than other proposals in next year's budget.

"We need to fund the schools and take care and make sure these kids get an education," says parent Jennie Irwin.

The parents and students have protested at City Hall and spoke out at council meetings this week.

On Monday night, Open High School student Isabella Arias said things need to change.

"The city cares more about commercial endeavors than enhancing our educational system," she says.

"You fix the roof first and that's what we're literally talking about with these kids," said parent Kirsten Gray. "Fix the roof first!"

Mayor Dwight Jones says he's giving the school system as much as he can - nearly $156 million.  That's $1 million more than last year.

The rest of his proposed budget shows nearly $325,000 for his executive security detail - around $13,000 more than last year. City Councilwoman Reva Trammel says that's a waste and wants to cut $150,000 of that and put it toward classroom supplies.

"Anything that anybody is doing on Council to support our schools and our teachers is great," says school board member Kristen Larson.

The mayor also wants to spend $197.3 million on existing anti-poverty programs.  Many have been around for years and parents say they're not working.

"When this administration claims anti-poverty, it's complete bull," Gray says.  "When tiles in schools are falling on kids who are the poorest in the city, I can't believe that this administration wants to fight poverty."

Then there's the Shockoe Bottom Stadium Project that's estimated to cost nearly $80 million. Jones has also budgeted $13.6 million to support infrastructure in the Bottom if the ballpark is approved.
The budget is not finalized, so a lot will change in the next few weeks.  City Council plans to meet Thursday to discuss the issue.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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Protesting Students Converge on City Hall, Speak with Mayor

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