School board's email warning

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We've gotten our hands on an emotional email from a Richmond School Board member, who is pleading for anyone to help get city schools more money.  It comes after the school board rejected recommendations from the mayor's task force, which was created to fix a budget crisis.

The email is almost incendiary.  The subject line reads "may day in both senses of the term."  It's being forwarded to anyone who'll listen to the threat of classroom cuts and job losses.  We've learned all school board members agreed to send out similar messages to their constituents.

After six hours of deliberations, the school board said thanks but no thanks to some of the mayor's task force recommendations.  It maintains it can't make them work.  According to its math, that leads to $10 million worth of cuts left to make unless city council steps in with new funds.

So what could that mean for your child's classroom?  The email we've gotten a hold of from School Board member Kim Bridges said you could see another 200 positions cut, including K-3 staff, administrative jobs and system-wide losses.  Those are in addition to the almost ninety reduced in the task force suggestions.

What Bridges called "dramatic salary cuts" for some staff are also on the chopping block.  She noted assistant principals would have to get by next year with $11,000 less in their checkbooks.

There are several city council members who haven't voiced support for supplementing any school funding.  Bridges said they need to step up with more than the $5 million the mayor is already adding.

She wrote, "…in every region around us, locality and school leaders have made the difficult decisions to invest in what our students need.  I have faith in our leaders that we can do that too."

With an impending budget vote and council members seemingly unwilling to budge, that May Day call may go unanswered.

Tuesday night, there wasn't only bad news for your school-aged kids.  City Council members discussed adding more than one million dollars to the schools education foundation, which would be used for principal and teacher training and parent outreach.

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