– A proposed $1 billion plan to improve the academic and health care of students with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities has been approved by the Richmond City Council.
The Richmond Public Schools District plans to use the money to expand classes, create specialized learning and support services for students, provide extra classroom space and add specialized services to its health care systems.
The plan, called “A Blueprint for Success,” was first introduced in June and approved in October by the school board.
The proposal is part of a larger $1 trillion plan that includes funding for public school employees and school improvement projects.
The district hopes to spend $3.5 billion in the next two years on new facilities, new technology and improvements to classrooms.
The Richmond Public School District said it hopes the new funding will help it meet its goal of increasing enrollment by 20 percent in the coming years.
“We’re confident that we will continue to improve our student and community health through increased attendance, better educational outcomes, increased financial support for our employees and the education of our students,” Richmond Public Superintendent Chris Neeley said in a statement.
“Our schools are working together to create a positive, vibrant community where every child can be treated with dignity and respect, no matter their disability.”
The Richmond school board voted in September to add $400,000 to the existing $1 million budget to pay staff salaries, a $150,000 increase for teachers and $100,000 for support staff.
In addition, the board approved a $200,000 budget for new school buildings.
Neeley also said the district would provide extra support services to students with special needs and students with cognitive disabilities.
The school district also plans to expand its high school and other programs, including expanded math and science instruction, computer programming, technology and supplies.
The plan will also support a $50,000 pilot program for the Richmond Science Center to provide free access to its facilities for students.