Schools, broken pledges and future election
10/4/2018, 6 a.m.
Let’s be honest: We have two school systems in Richmond. One is a private, mostly white student body attending modern, clean facilities providing the educational opportunities. The second is a public system, where a 90 percent minority and mostly poor student body attends the most decrepit, non-maintained, obsolete facilities in Virginia.
Former President Obama called such facilities “crumbling halls of shame.”
Former Mayors Tim Kaine and L. Douglas Wilder warned such aged facilities couldn’t provide the equal educational opportunities mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision.
Richmond Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras calls the conditions “heartbreaking.”
That’s why every 2016 mayoral and City Council candidate promised to never support paying for a new Coliseum with taxpayer dollars until we end this shame by enacting a fully funded plan leaving no youngster behind.
But once elected, Mayor Levar M. Stoney and some members of City Council have broken their pledge to poor minority students.
Mayor Stoney stated, “We have no money” — not even $200,000 to fix disgraceful bathrooms in Richmond’s public schools. Yet in his next breath, Mayor Stoney spent $500,000 with consultants to vet the Coliseum proposal. And he is pushing to spend more than $300 million in tax dollars so Tom Farrell’s development group can get their new Coliseum without investing even a $1.
My daughter, Kennedy, is an RPS first-grader. Mr. Stoney and City Council have knowingly broken their pledge to her generation. In fact, their budget approach leaves students in far worse facility conditions for the foreseeable future.
So, what should Kennedy’s dad do?
Simple: Consider moving into a City Council district where my supporters live and run against an incumbent who backs the Stoney-Farrell anti-education Coliseum boondoggle.
JOSEPH D. “JOE” MORRISSEY
The writer unsuccessfully ran for Richmond mayor against five other candidates in 2016.