School Board to fill 7th District seat Oct.16

Jeremy Lazarus | 9/22/2017, 8:27 p.m.
The Richmond School Board plans to fill the vacant 7th District seat at its meeting on Monday, Oct. 16. The ...

By Jeremy M. Lazarus

The Richmond School Board plans to fill the vacant 7th District seat at its meeting on Monday, Oct. 16.

The decision came Monday night as the eight-member board also voted to urge Congress to allow the use of historic tax credits as a tool to finance school improvements and learned that 50 people have applied to be the next superintendent.

On the board appointment front, the group set up an aggressive schedule.

Anyone interested in the 7th District seat has until noon Friday, Sept. 29, to submit a letter of interest and a résumé. The School Board plans to interview candidates on Monday, Oct. 2, and then hold a public hearing to receive comments on the candidates during its meeting.

The good news for the appointee: He or she will be able to serve until the general election in November 2018, when voters will elect a replacement for Nadine Marsh-Carter, who resigned following the death of her husband in July.

Having passed the deadline for candidates to get on the ballot in the upcoming Nov. 7 election, the board voted to put off the election for a year, rather than holding it earlier.

The board’s vote on the historic tax credits has been sought from advocates like Paul Goldman, who has led the charge to put a school modernization referendum on the November ballot.

It follows Richmond City Council’s vote on a similar resolution urging passage of legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and Rep. A. Donald McEachin to correct a glitch in the federal tax law that bars the use of tax credits to modernize public schools 50 years old and older.

Sen. Kaine found a legal loophole that enabled the region to use tax credits to help pay for modernizing then vacant Maggie L. Walker High School for a Governor’s School, which currently occupies the Lombardy Street building. Sen. Kaine believes up to 30 schools in Richmond might benefit from a change in the law.

In the search for a new RPS superintendent, the School Board is moving forward with help from Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, the consulting firm that has created the applicant pool.

The list is expected to be winnowed down so the board can begin interviewing finalists by November and to make an appointment before the end of the year.