Richmond’s school buildings are falling apart. Years of deferred maintenance and neglect have left the buildings in abysmal shape.
The first thing I will do when I take office is visit every school in Richmond. This will not be for photo-ops but to take stock of the maintenance needs. Before I arrive, the school administration will be tasked with making a list of every single maintenance need in the school. I will personally set eyes on those issues and then review them with staff. We will then make a prioritized list of those maintenance needs. As we visit each school, the maintenance needs will be combined into one public prioritized master list. It will then be my job to find the funding, donations, and/or volunteers to start working our way through that list as fast as possible.
We will then set a new standard for the care of our school buildings. From the ones I have been in, it is clear the buildings are not treated with respect. Regular, thorough cleanings will be planned and a routine maintenance schedule will be created.
In addition to maintenance, the buildings must be aligned in a way to promote consistency so the children have a sense of predictability and feel safe. This is essential for creating an environment conducive for learning.
This will be the basis for my school modernization plan. As the residents of Richmond demanded in a referendum but never received from Mayor Stoney, I will present the School Board and the residents of Richmond with a fully funded school modernization plan without raising taxes by the end of my first year in office. This will include plans for building a new George Wythe High School.
Never again will our children go to school in buildings that make them feel unwanted, unimportant, and undervalued.