Richmond residents rally to fix city schools

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — School is out for the summer, but families in Richmond rallied Saturday night, in an effort to make the city school district go from surviving to thriving.

“This is for the kids,” John Cary, a parent of two students told 8News. “Neighbors came out and cheered for us. They just randomly got into the event.”

Parents, teachers and students called for all hands on deck to repair the city’s crumbling schools.

A budget fight has been going on in Richmond for months now. Just recently, the fight ended with a multi-million dollar budget cut which shortchanged schools. This, in turn, left buildings with falling ceiling tiles, leaks and mold.

“Why can’t we fix the schools?” Cary asked. “What can we do to fix the schools? … But there was never a conduit that could channel that effort.”

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It is a massive undertaking. And that is why a group, calling itself Building a Better RPS, formed in the first place.

The group, so far, has worked diligently to recruit businesses and volunteers to fundraise to support students and teachers.

“We’ve made an excess of 15 thousand already,” Cary said.

The group is planning an extreme makeover project of all 47 Richmond public schools in late July.

“We have a real deep connection,” Elliot Barr, who participated in the rally and is an RPS teacher, said.

Estimates say it will take 12 thousand man hours and $600 for each school’s interior, and $1,200 per school’s exterior.

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