11/17/2017, 8:45 p.m.
We were heartened by the turnout and support Richmond voters gave last week to the schools referendum.
The initiative, which calls for fully funding improvements to Richmond Public Schools aging and decrepit buildings, now goes to the Virginia General Assembly.
But we state again, as we have previously in this space, that the bill has no teeth. We believe it was a fatal flaw allowed by organizers of the petition drive.
Even if the measure is approved by the state legislature, nothing requires Richmond’s mayor or City Council to pony up to improve the horrible school buildings and conditions in which Richmond youngsters are supposed to learn.
So what, then, was the Nov. 7 vote if nothing more than an expensive and time-consuming poll of the people?
Attending public meetings during the last year at the Richmond School Board and at partially repaired George Mason Elementary School in Church Hill would have provided a clue that parents, teachers and others in the community believe the schools are a mess and that coming up with the money to fix them should be a priority.
So now Mayor Levar M. Stoney and the members of Richmond City Council and the School Board know that to be a fact based on the overwhelming support for the referendum by Richmond voters.
What’s the real next step to achieve funding for schools?
Mayor Stoney, City Council President Chris Hilbert, School Board Chair Dawn Page and interim Superintendent Thomas E. “Tommy” Kranz, all leaders of the city government and the public school system, what’s next?
The public wants real results.