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
Here’s a magic trick. Tear down an old school (in this case Overby-Sheppard Elementary School in Richmond), build a new one in its place using nearly all allocated capital ground funds for school improvements across the city, and argue that this will help everyone in the entire school system. Magic, right? Link
…$21 million to rebuild a relatively new facility in better condition than the vast majority of Richmond’s public schools…
Now, City Council has gotten in on the act by funding a new school in Highland Park over the reservations of at least four School Board members. Link
The only change City Council offered in next year’s funding is an increase in the school system’s capital improvement allotment from about $500,000 to $685,000. That money is set aside for general maintenance of the city’s 50 or so school buildings.
A school system-produced list of capital improvement needs includes $6.1 million in work for 2013 and $104.7 million in the next 10 years. Link
In an April 15 letter from Marshall to Superintendent Yvonne W. Brandon and School Board Chairman Jeff M. Bourne, of the 3rd District, also obtained Monday, Marshall shared details of the offer and said a planned move of school functions away from the Boulevard “was well underway.”
“Please advise me of the timeline for the property being declared surplus,” he wrote.
The thought that the process was underway did not sit well with several School Board members.
Since the new School Board was seated in January, the nine members have been called into individual, private meetings to discuss the project with leaders from the city and the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, though there has been no public meeting on the school, which is envisioned as a specialized Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, facility.
Several School Board members say the need to replace Overby-Sheppard is greatly overstated at best and nonexistent at worst. Link
Pinkney-Eppes told CBS 6 that the board is looking at giving Brandon at least one year of her contract of $170,000, plus her remaining vacation, sick leave and a portion of her deferred compensation benefits.
CBS 6 has learned that total amount could add up to more than $200,000. Link