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Teachers, Advocates Prepare For “Fund Our Future” Rally

A woman prints a poster
Teachers printed signs and posters over the weekend to prepare for the rally in favor of higher education spending. (Photo by Patrick Larsen/VPM News)

*VPM intern Patrick Larsen reported this story

Teachers and advocates were preparing signs and shirts this weekend ahead of the “Fund Our Future” rally. They will be at the state Capitol Monday to call on the General Assembly to set aside more funding in the budget for schools.

Nora Bryant printed signs yesterday with her two daughters, who attend Richmond Public Schools, at Studio Two Three in Richmond Sunday.

Bryant, who also teaches preschool special education at RPS, she says the school system needs more funding to hire additional support staff like social workers.

“It’s just there’s not the time cause you’re working with hundreds of kids instead of a smaller amount of kids,” Bryant said.

She’s pleased that Governor Ralph Northam set aside money for early childhood education in his budget - but is worried that it sends the wrong message.

“Unfortunately what I think that does is it pits early childhood education against K-12 education,” Bryant said.

She says all grade levels need more support.

Alexandria Cooper, a high school teacher with Richmond Public Schools, also took time out of her weekend to make signs.

Cooper says she spent almost $500 of her own money on supplies for her students last year because the school couldn’t pay for them.

“I think teachers are just getting tired of it,” Cooper said.

Superintendent Jason Kamras closed school for the day, saying in a press release that nearly 700 teachers had called out to attend the rally. That’s about a third of all teachers in RPS.

The “Fund Our Future” rally begins on Monday at noon on Capitol Square. Teachers and advocates will also be attending committee meetings where a number of education bills are being considered by lawmakers. 

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