Tonight's 6pm meeting at City Council is going to be a historic night in Richmond. RPS students are planning a walk-out at 2pm and the Support Our Schools rally will start at 5pm on the front steps of City Hall.  You are encouraged to bring signs (some will be on hand) and wear red. Richmond Trolley will run a shuttle from MLK Middle School to City Hall, which is awesome and you should be sure to take advantage. Make your plans now to be there tonight!  

 What's so important the meeting tonight? 

Tonight begins the process of finalizing the major financial documents of the City, the budget and Capital Improvements Plan (CIP). As we've written about before, there is a MAJOR GAP between what the Mayor and School Board thinks should go towards our schools. 

City Council will hold a work session from Noon to 4pm today where they will finalize amendments to the Mayor's proposal. Usually this is a process of incremental change, but with the major gap this could be an interesting year. 

When the budget is presented at the meeting tonight, they will first call speakers who have signed up and then will start forming a line for all others who would like to speak. No one will be denied speaking, but if you sign up before the meeting (by calling the City Clerk 646-7955) you should be guaranteed 3-minutes to speak.   

How can I help?

Sign the Support Our Schools RVA petition. If you can't make it tonight, read through the Support Our Schools talking points, and email City Council members about your support. The Support Richmond Public Schools Facebook page and #SupportRPS or #rvacouncil will be a great place to track updates.  

To cover the school funding gap, City Council needs to take the following actions:  

  1. Amend the budget to cover the $18 million gap between the Mayor and School Board.
  2. Amend the proposed CIP to provide $20 million in FY17 for school maintenance and provide $8 million for each year (FY17-FY21) for new school construction.
  3. Pass ORD2016-092 to provide money for schools today!

Thank you for your time and hope to see you out there tonight!