RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras held a ‘Trust Town Hall’ meeting because he said he understood that there is some distrust between RPS and the public.
The main topic of Tuesday night’s event was to inform the public about where the money is coming from to pay for new schools and improving current ones.
The school system is awaiting approval of a city budget granting it $18.5 million dollars by increasing taxes.
Concerned Richmond residents demanded answers from Kamras.
“Where’s that money going and why does Richmond have to spend it?” asked one Richmond resident.
Dozens of people were in attendance and put Kamras on the spot with their questions. The public wanted to know how the school system will secure its future.
“I just wanna know how much it’s going to be..because I can see the schools need maintenance..the schools need better technology,” LaMont Noble said.
Karmas has led the school system for more than a year. He told the attendees that he’s had to make tough calls with tight resources.
“We have to be more creative, more innovative, more dynamic, more accountable and manage better to make sure that we’re stretching every dollar and providing better customer service,” Kamras said.
RPS parents voiced their opinion and told Kamras they want transparency. Parents want to make sure that any money the school system gets is spent wisely.
“What we’re going to have to do is think differently about how we support schools,” Kamras said. “We can’t just keep doing the same thing and adding people.”
RPS strategic plan ‘Dreams for RPS’ highlights priorities such as building repairs and teacher praises.
Richmond resident LaMont Noble said that the plan is lacking.
“I didn’t see those numbers on attendance, graduation rates, college acceptance rates,” Noble said.
Kamras said the city council can’t wait to fund schools any longer saying there are students who don’t have any heat during the winter or textbooks for the year.
Stay with 8News for updates on this budget battle.