RPS makes no changes to Northside schools

Richmond School Board fails to agree on rezoning

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Public School Board decided to make no changes in rezoning for students in the Northside.

Last month, the school board approved rezoning changes that will impact schools on the southside. It mainly affects elementary schools but does not touch high schools. The only middle school affected is Martin Luther King, which will no longer enroll students from south Richmond.

These changes will happen next school year, but there are still some unanswered questions.

“I would like to see us proceed with option five,” School Board Member Kenya Gibson said.

If it were to be approved, option five would have had a big impact.

About 160 students in the Holton zone would go to Ginter Park. Obama Elementary School would get 90 Ginter Park students south of Laburnum. Obama Elementary students currently south of Brookland Park Boulevard would be rezoned for Holton.

Gibson recommended option five but it failed to pass. Ultimately, the board didn’t make a decision at all regarding the 10 options before them.

As of now, the zones on the Northside will remain the same for the next school year.

When option five failed, no other board member spoke up to make a motion to approve other options.

“I have not heard any plans for the Northside that I can support,” one parent said.

“We live in a community where the schools are not equal,” another parent said.

The passions were high inside the meeting.

“My hope is that the school board will vote to make a decision that will benefit all students. We deserve better in RPS,” a student said to the Board.

“You have already violated the public trust with this shambolic rezoning. I can’t even trust that,” One parent said.

The board approved new zones for the three other parts of the city earlier in the month, turning down the idea of combing majority-white and majority-black zones to improve diversity.

The issue of diversity continued during community discussions.

“I’m ashamed to stand here after 72 years in my life when so many problems have been about race,” former Richmond City Councilman Chuck Richardson said.

“It’s a shame we that we still have a disconnect between our white children and our children of color,” another parent said.

For more information about rezoning, click here.

Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.