Why does education matter for 100% of Richmond's population? Schools are the backbone to any healthy, vibrant community. Quality public schools reduce crime, increase positive health outcomes, increase property values, support economic development, provide the future workforce for the city and region, and reduce poverty.  Good public schools attract and retain families; families support local sports, recreation, retail, and tourism. We are proud of the Top 10 lists in magazines across the nation, but our city is not a viable community if middle class families continue to  leave to raise their children elsewhere. The biggest investment we can make as a city is in our children. Quality public education affects us all and we care about investing in education now. Sign today, so our city’s elected officials know you support our schools!

¿Por qué importa la educación para el ciento por ciento de la población de Richmond?Las escuelas son la columna vertebral de una comunidad saludable y vibrante.Las escuelas públicas de calidad reducen el crimen, mejoran los resultados de una salud positiva, aumentan el valor de las propiedades, apoyan el desarrollo económico, promueven la futura fuerza laboral para la ciudad y la región, y reducen la pobreza.Las escuelas públicas buenas atraen y retienen a las familias; las familias apoyan los deportes locales, la recreación, los negocios pequeños, y el turismo.Tenemos orgullo de estar entre las 10 mejores en las listas de las revistas en toda la nación, pero nuestra ciudad no es una comunidad factible si las familias de la clase media continúan saliendo para criar a sus hijos en otros sitios. La inversión más grande que puede hacer nuestra ciudad es la que podemos hacer en nuestra niñez. La educación pública de calidad nos afecta a todos y nos preocupa que invirtamos en la educación ahora.¡Pongan sus firmas hoy día para que nuestros representantes elegidos de nuestra ciudad sepan que ustedes apoyan a nuestras escuelas!

We come together as Richmond’s business leaders, property owners, parents, teachers, and neighbors to voice our support for fully funding the Richmond School Board’s request for an additional $18M to its operating budget. Additionally, we ask that you work towards funding the $49.6million capital projects budget. This is Richmond's stated highest priority, and we ask for your consideration.

Salary Needs:  It is unacceptable to lose our talented, dedicated teachers to the county year after year.  Richmond teachers’ salaries have been frozen on the same step for the past decade. After adjusting for inflation, teachers are making 15% less than they were 7 years ago. Richmond tops the metro region with a teacher turnover rate of 13%. In order to attract and keep highly effective teachers, Richmond must stay competitive in both the compensation and working conditions they offer their teachers.

Facilities Needs:  Our schools are literally crumbling on top of our students and creating blight in our communities. Over 80% of Richmond school buildings are more than 20 years old and approximately one third are at least 70 years old. According to the Council of the Great City Schools, school districts with the square footage of Richmond Schools need a minimum of $8M a year to properly maintain buildings. Richmond receives $2M a year. The majority of our school facilities are not up to code, and this is a major safety issue for our children and educators.

Statistics:  Investments in schools in high-poverty neighborhoods produce significant positive outcomes.  The strong relationship between higher levels of education and lower levels of crime make public expenditures for quality schools a sound investment. Incarceration costs twice as much annually per inmate as public education does per student. 41% of inmates did not complete school.   People with higher levels of education tend to live longer, healthier lives and depend less on government-funded health programs. Investing in public education in the short term results in increased graduation rates over the long term. Richmond spends less per capita on education when compared to the largest 19 Virginia localities. Failure to create an educational system that provides as much opportunity for those at the bottom of the income scale as those at the top widens inequality and stunts economic growth. This is an issue of  civil rights and social responsibility.

Invest Now:  We all rely on public schools and the positive outcomes they produce for our community. From its early days, public schooling has always served as a foundation for our democratic society. In addition to the important roles of educating for work and economic productivity, we rely on public schools to prepare responsible participating citizens, to provide social/cultural unity, and to provide opportunity for all without which the American Dream is impossible. We ask not only as parents, but as friends, neighbors, landlords, employers, and colleagues. This issue affects all of us in some way. We come together to ask for full funding the school boards operating and facilities requests . Thank you very much for your time and your service to our city.

Update #14 years ago
A Spanish translation of the overview has been added... please be sure to share w/ the Spanish-speaking friends in our community. Thanks again for your support!
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