An $0.80 cent per pack cigarette tax dedicated to school facility maintenance will generate roughly $5M per year. Read the analysis and recommendation from our Policy Action Team and how you can voice your opinion!
Richmond Forward’s current project’s goal is to remove the barrier of failing school facilities, holding back at-opportunity students in Richmond. This edition of The Latest includes an update on a cigarette tax for school facility maintenance proposal.
In this meals-tax-for-schools edition, our goal is to help you sift through the arguments, lay out the basic facts, and provide a personal take with links to Meals Tax FAQ responses and RVA Dirt’s terrific analysis of alternative funding options (our Money for School Facilities document is coming soon).
After a slow moving process, we’ve experienced a rush of action and stand today with an approved facilities plan by the School Board! Like all things in life, the story is complicated. A big thanks to the RTD’s Justin Mattingly for covering this process with serious detail; we will be referencing his work frequently in this recap. He’ll help us along the journey.
Budgets are important because they show our real intentions. We, the people, need to let our elected representatives know that next year’s budget (and Capital Improvements Plan or CIP) is where we demand to see major action on school facilities. The problem, is that we’re running out of time.
If ten (10) people were to speak during public comment at the School Board meeting (17th floor City Hall) on November 6th at 6pm and call for action on school facilities, the immediacy of this issue would be remembered. From my analysis, we need the School Board to (1) endorse a list of facilities actions (e.g. new construction, rezoning, community schools, etc.), and (2) appoint members to the Education Compact.
Separate and unequal, segregated, failing school facilities in Richmond are monuments to white supremacy. Each day longer this system is tolerated and perpetuated, they win.
The next 59 days leading to October 16th are crucially important to addressing this wrong and writing a new future for Richmond. We need your help!
It's time to get people to Compact meetings!
Mayor Stoney’s proposed Education Compact could be the central vehicle through which we get a RPS facilities plan adopted and funded. The Compact’s framework provides an opportunity for Richmond to “get our house in order” by internally-aligning the Mayor’s administration, the School Board, and City Council to enact a system of transparency, cooperation, and efficiency.
Worst case scenario, this Compact becomes yet another effort mired in political strife and stagnation that continues our broken school system.
Richmond Forward is not going to let that happen and you'll want to read why.