No new taxes for RPS
10/25/2018, 6 a.m.
If there was any correlation whatsoever relative to spending and academic performance, then Richmond Public Schools would be among the best school districts in the state.
Instead, and despite spending nearly $15,000 per student per year, less than half of our schools in Richmond are accredited, we lose 22 percent of our teachers every year because of micromanagement and we graduate only two of every three students.
Does anyone really think that if we increase spending for RPS from $350 million a year to $400 million a year we will improve? Do any of my colleagues really think that if we increase per capita spending from what now amounts to $15,000 a year to $20,000, we will see any appreciable difference? It’s like the person in the cold complaining of the room temperature and the need to spend more money on raising the thermostat and never taking the time to find that a window in the rear of the house is open bleeding money.
Residents of the City of Richmond already are taxed on their houses significantly more than residents of Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover. And unlike in the counties where they get some return on that investment, to suggest to bleed the taxpayers even more before doing something to demonstrate a return on investment for RPS is not only insulting but surely should prompt a public outcry.
All of my constituents are willing and prepared to spend more than the counties do relative to education and it’s important to note that we currently spend much more per student than our suburban neighbors. But people expect RPS to manage their money in a way that we can pass simple audits, graduate our students and do the basics. But to date, RPS has not.
Only RPS would have the audacity to go back to the very people — the taxpayers — who have funded a broken RPS and ask them to put up even more money when, as a school district, we have demonstrated zero competence.
I will fight this proposed tax increase with every ounce in my body.
JONATHAN M. YOUNG
The writer represents the 4th District on the Richmond School Board.