When will U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson and U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge M. Hannah Lauck decide they have heard just about enough excuses and double-talk from the Richmond Public School (RPS) Board and RPS Superintendent about the district's slow crawl to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act?
Perhaps the news RPS administrators simply "decided" to terminate its contract with the construction management firm overseeing the work to bring city schools into compliance with the settlement agreement will prompt Judge Hudson and Magistrate Lauck to demand some straight answers and action from the Richmond School Board.
How is it that RPS administration has the authority to terminate the contract without a vote of the School Board when the decision to hire McDonough Bolyard and Peck required both legal consultation and an official board vote?
Given that monthly meetings between plaintiffs, RPS officials and U. S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lauck have emphasized a cooperative and communicative approach to getting the work accomplished, how is it that the decision to terminate the contract was made without any consultation with plaintiffs or Magistrate Judge Lauck?
Given that no request for proposals (RFP) has been posted, how will the extensive work planned for the next year be accomplished without MBP or another entity in place?
When the Consent Decree in the ADA matter was entered, it was conditioned upon money being available to cover the construction costs. Since then, the City of Richmond has announced plans to spend more than $100 million building new schools and Mayor Dwight Jones has announced that 40 percent of that money will go to minority contractors.
City official, Tammy Hawley, tells Chris Dovi of Richmond Magazine that the Mayor's office is prepared to takeover the oversight of the construction to satisfy the settlement agreement. Yet, the Mayor's budget only proposes $3.1 million in the next budget cycle for ADA compliance.
The School Board has -- thus far -- exercised no decision concerning the Mayor's plan to build new schools. How is their silence on this matter not a derelection of a Constitutionally-vested authority of the School Board that the members of the board have authority over the building and management of the school facilities?
Is this a Mayoral takeover of Richmond Public Schools or is it simply a "rollover" of the School Board and evidence that the members of the Richmond School Board have failed to fulfill their sworn duties?