Public pressure needed to address upgrades for school buildings

11/10/2017, 7:45 p.m.

I’m thoroughly disappointed that Richmond School Board action to address the emergency needs of schools facilities has stalled.

The School Board made promises to the George Mason Elementary community for a new school earlier this year. And interim Richmond Schools Superintendent Thomas E. Kranz has long called for action to address emergency concerns at Greene Elementary, Elkhardt-Thompson Middle and George Wythe High schools in South Side.

In September, Mayor Levar M. Stoney promised to fund the first phase of school improvements once the School Board provided a plan, and it was vetted through the Educational Compact, which includes the mayor, Richmond citizens and members of the City Council and School Board.

But as of yet, nothing has happened.

Nothing will happen unless residents act soon. Major items to be funded when the budget is adopted in the spring are being decided now.

Time is running short, which is why the School Board must move quickly to endorse a priority list of schools facilities to address emergency needs and make appointments to the Educational Compact.

This is no time to slow-walk the process.



The writer is founder of Richmond Forward, an advocacy group that focuses on education, neighborhoods and building relationships.