‘March for More’ demonstration set for Dec. 8
Ronald E. Carrington | 12/6/2018, 6 a.m.
Richmond Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras, Mayor Levar M. Stoney and Virginia education leaders will hold a “March for More” rally and demonstration this weekend to demand more state money for public education.
The rally is slated for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, 1000 Mosby St. in the East End, with advocates then marching to the Capitol in Downtown.
While the Virginia General Assembly will not be in session until January, officials said they want school officials, teachers, students, parents and other supporters to send a strong message to state lawmakers that more money is needed to improve and maintain a world-class education for students in Richmond and across the state and to modernize aging and decrepit school buildings.
“This not just a Richmond issue; this is a commonwealth issue,” Jason Kamras, Richmond schools superintendent, said at a news conference last week announcing the march. “Every single school division is facing the fallout from the General Assembly’s deep cuts and we all are in need of more state spending.”
“It’s time for superintendents and school boards across the state to band together, sending a unified message to our legislators telling them that it is time to spend more on public education. Virginia’s students deserve it,” said Dr. Amy E. Cashwell, who became superintendent of Henrico County Public Schools on July 1.
State per-pupil funding for K-12 education has declined 9 percent since the 2008-09 school year, according a study issued in October by The Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit research organization. At the same time, the student population is projected to have grown by more than 53,000 students and staffing has declined by 1,242 positions.
Additional marches are planned for 2019 to drive home the demand to state legislators.
“The more people we have coming out and coming together is a good signal for education across the commonwealth,” Mr. Kamras said.