A resolution proposing a dedicated funding stream for Richmond public schools died during this week’s city council meeting. It was struck from the agenda without discussion, or public input.
The resolution had been before council for a while – it was introduced in 2016 by then-councilman Jon Baliles. It proposed allocating a set percentage of the city’s real estate taxes to be used to fund Richmond’s public schools. On Monday night, city council voted to strike it.
“When it’s stricken from the agenda it’s like removed, poof, gone,” said Councilwoman Kristen Larson. “I didn’t support the way it went down. I think for something that’s been there for so long that I know folks are interested in, for it to just disappear in one night, is not the way to approach it.”
Larson admits that the percentage – at close to 61% - is likely outdated, but she supports the framework. Other cities like Roanoke and Hampton Roads have adopted something similar.
In Roanoke, 40% of all city taxes go to schools.