The city of Richmond has received a second unsolicited offer to purchase a warehouse near The Diamond that has been at the heart of a battle between the city’s School Board and the administration of Mayor Dwight C. Jones. Link
For the third time since June, school leaders this week thwarted an attempt by Mayor Dwight C. Jones to wrest away a piece of school property that a private company wants — a potentially troubling development for Jones since there are two other, higher-profile school properties in the middle of the Boulevard development area. Link
The proposal, which did not sit well with some School Board members who saw it as overstepping the boundaries of governance, would ask for budget projections, academic goals, prioritized improvement plans, and benchmarks that could be used to evaluate Richmond schools against comparable school districts. Link
Richmond City Council Vice President Ellen F. Robertson has finally unleashed a long-anticipated resolution asking the city’s School Board to present a three-year plan for academic improvement in exchange for a pledge from the council to keep appropriating “sufficient funds” to run the school system.
The idea was not well received by the School Board. Link
With the “good old boys” mentality of the Mayor’s cronies, it certainly seems like the only thing of importance is getting the Jones agenda up and running, and to H*** with everything else. We are talking about the Shockoe Bottom baseball stadium deal, folks. Link
The possible scuttling of a grant for work on the football field at Richmond’s John Marshall High School has led to public revelation of widespread deficiencies in athletic facilities across the city. Link
The plan has not been vetted by the School Board.
[School Board Chairman Jeff M. Bourne] said he wasn’t sure how the laptops would be used, how they would support academic goals and what impact they might have on the school system budget. Link
The total school budget for next year, including federal, state and other funding, is $246.5 million, down from $249 million from the fiscal year that ended June 2012.
And despite a schools report that says the system has nearly $18.6 million in maintenance needs for its roughly 50 buildings in the coming year, it will only get $685,000 from the city to that end.
However, the city has included money in next year’s capital improvement program to begin plans to tear down and replace Overby-Sheppard Elementary as part of the redevelopment of the former Dove Court public housing community. The school is projected to cost about $21.5 million.
Overby-Sheppard, built in 1976, is not high on the list of priorities in the school system’s 10-year, $105 million maintenance plan, a fact that was not lost on the speakers who addressed the council. Link
On a 5-4 vote during a heated Monday work session, the Richmond School Board agreed to begin a process the prevailing side hopes will lead to the closure of Clark Springs Elementary School, the Adult Career Development Center and the old Norrell Elementary building, which currently houses a preschool center. Link