RPS aims to slash $13 million from system’s central office

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The Richmond Public School Board is trying to hammer out a budget that includes some “major” proposed cuts. 

This comes after Superintendent Jason Kamras delivered his first state of schools address, featuring his $150 million, 5-year plan “Dreams 4 RPS” on Tuesday night. 

School board members say the proposed cut to the central office would be the largest in over a decade if approved. 

As the budget talks ramp up, closing several RPS buildings is also an option. 

“There’s not much you can do when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said RPS parent Jenny Aghomo.

It’s crunch time for RPS, as board members work to finalize a budget. 

Right now, a proposal is on the table to slash $13 million from the central office to make up for a deficit heading into 2020. 

“Now the emperor has been revealed to have no clothes and we are cutting downtown in a big way,” said RPS board member Jonathan Young. “$13 million is significant.”

The administration told 8News both personnel and non-personnel job cuts are being considered. 

Young says around 60 jobs could be eliminated from city hall. 

“Why are we cutting downtown? Is because first and foremost all that they have been doing, if they’ve been doing anything, is getting in the way of our teachers,” Young said. 

Aghomo says it’s a tight spot for RPS. 

“Nobody wants to see any jobs cut but at the same time I’m hoping that maybe there are other ways these people can be employed,” said Aghomo. 

Another cost-cutting measure, school consolidation.

“We have a lot of school buildings where half the school is empty,” said Young. 

An idea that sits well with Aghomo.  

“Could consolidate in a fashion and rezoning that would not hurt any students and that would make sense, I’d be for that,” Aghomo told 8News.  

The school board will meet Thursday night for budget hearings. 

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