Richmond City Council held a public meeting Monday night, taking public comments on Mayor Stoney's proposed meals tax increase before pushing it through committee. Also happening Monday night, Richmond Schools' new superintendent released a 100-day plan that "focuses on engagement, equity, and excellence."
MEALS TAX MEETING
The meals tax could be voted on - approved or shot down - as early as next Monday.
Council held a committee meeting, public comment and then a very colorful debate.
Ultimately, council pushed the meals tax through committee, which means it can now be voted on at the next council meeting.
Many City Council members say your comments have overwhelming said that this is moving too quickly and council needs to pump the breaks. But there is a sense of urgency, considering how long the schools debate is gone on, and Mayor Stoney is working on his next budget and needs to know if this new money is coming in or not.
The meals tax hike could come up for a vote next Monday, and if it's passed, it would go into effect in July and raise an estimated $9.1 million a year in new revenue. That new revenue would allow the city to borrow about $150 million more to put towards the RPS facilities plan.
If approved, you would pay nearly 13 percent in taxes when you dine-out in the city.
RPS SUPERINTENDENT PLAN
Richmond Public Schools' new superintendent Jason Kamras has released details about his 100-day plan that focuses on "three core education values: engagement, equity, and excellence."
"I believe that all children deserve to be loved and nurtured, to have their unique identities affirmed and celebrated, and to be engaged in rich and rigorous learning every single day. We must all commit to work together to ensure our students receive the education they deserve so they can pursue their greatest aspirations,” said Superintendent Jason Kamras. “I am honored to be entrusted with the extraordinary responsibility of leading Richmond Public Schools and ask you to join me in this important work."
For the first three months, Kamras intends to listen and learn from families and the community by holding meetings with students, staff and school board members, as well as town hall meetings.
He wants to get a third party to conduct an "equity audit" and plans to offer "at least four Advanced Placement (AP) courses" to RPS high school students.
Kamras will also use the 100-day period to launch a five-year plan towards 100% accreditation and create a task force to ensure full staff for the 2018-2019 school year.
"This plan is an excellent start to our work and it is my hope that over the next 100 days, you will see the immediate impacts,” said School Board Chair Dawn Page. “The key to building the school district that we all want is to engage the community while striving for excellence and ensuring equity for students. As a native Richmonder and a graduate of RPS, I feel confident that this plan represents a great first step in the work we need to do together on behalf of our schools.”
RPS will be posting more details about the plan on www.rvaschools.net.
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