8News Daily Poll: Are you satisfied with Richmond City Council’s budget agreement?

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Though the future of Richmond schools remains in question, City Council reached a budget deal Tuesday night.

Budget talks for the fiscal year are now over. Council agreed to give the district’s public schools nearly $10 million more than Mayor Dwight Jones originally proposed.

“We made schools our number one priority,” councilmember Parker Angelasto told 8News. “We came up with $5.5 million and $4 million in capital.”

School officials say they need an extra $18 million in operating funds, more than three times what they’re going to actually receive. The $5.5 million in operating funds is enough to finally increase teacher salaries after years of stagnant pay.

On the capital side, the $4 million increase will go to maintain the district’s crumbling buildings. What remains unclear is whether the district will be able to avoid closing schools.

“I would hate to see schools close if it’s not absolutely necessary,” councilmember Michelle Mosby said.

Public works and the fire department also received more than $300,000 in additional funding and Venture Richmond will get an extra $100,000. The only department taking a cut is the Richmond Ambulance Authority at $250,000.

City council will formally vote to adopt the budget on May 13. Mayor Jones can veto any item of any city budget ordinance, but council can override a veto with six or more votes.

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