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EDUCATION

Hard feelings between the Richmond City Council and School Board were laid bare Wednesday as a council committee advanced a plan to formally request cooperation from the School Board in creating a three-year improvement plan. Link

Question: What’s the biggest obstacle to providing academically and structurally sound schools to all children in Richmond, no matter where they live? How do you overcome it?

Cynthia I. Newbille, City Council, 7th District No response received.

Reva M. Trammell, City Council, 8th District No response received.

Michelle R. Mosby, City Council, 9th District No response received.

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CBS 6 obtained a copy of the lengthy inspection report and it shows numerous violations, including an accumulation of trash … foundation walls not properly maintained as well as handrails and guardrails in disrepair. If the problems are not fixed in 30 days, according to the report, the school system will be charged $2500 per violation, per day, plus court fees.
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The Richmond Superintendent of Schools says it is time to stop “patching” outdated buildings. The announcement comes as students at Fairfield Court Elementary School are being relocated because of repeated roof leaks. Link

And with enrollment on the rise again after years of decline, the call for more classroom space is getting louder. Link

In the city, the approach for decades has been deflection and denial. The state of schools got so bad by last year, officials put together a 10-year, $104.7 million list to show backlogged routine maintenance. No one paid much attention. Link

The Richmond school district has too many buildings where delayed maintenance has placed learning, if not students and faculty, at risk. The cost to patch these facilities has been put at an estimated $100 million.  Link

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