Richmond City Council discusses increasing school budget $4.9 million

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — City Council members in Richmond met for five hours Monday to try and find more money for city schools.

City officials are trying to find money to avoid the possible shutdown of several area schools. The school system is currently looking at closing six schools to make up for the $18 million shortfall in their request.

On Friday, Mayor Jones held a news conference addressing budget deliberations, where he said several Richmond City Council members have mentioned plans to invest more in schools, but he has yet to receive any budget amendments, which were apparently due last Monday, April 11.

Jones said that the city’s population has increased by 10 percent while city staff has been reduced by 9 percent. He also mentioned that agency budgets are being reduced by 12 percent, but schools are not seeing any reduction in its budget. He said any additional cuts to other departments to fund schools could cut basic services and endanger public safety.

Mayor Jones also said Richmond is also operating at 2008 funding levels and that he’s created a multi-year funding team to come up with a plan to find a sustainable source of funding for schools.

8News Reporter Jonathan Costen was at Monday’s meeting, where councilmembers discussed increasing the school budget roughly $4.9 million. Watch his full report above.

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