The blackface scandals have caused lawmakers to approach a number of policy issues in new ways. That includes the budget.
African-American lawmakers from urban parts of Virginia facing high poverty want this moment to be one of opportunity, not just a time of scandal and intrigue. But also a time of reckoning.
Appearing at a press conference Thursday to call for more funding for schools, Delegate Delores McQuinn of Richmond talked about the opportunity of this moment. “One one of the things I am certain of that our governor has been very committed to looking out for those who have been marginalized, disenfranchised and truly disadvantaged,” McQuinn said.
Delegate Jeff Bourne of Richmond says he’s disappointed the House and Senate budget amendments removed $21 million in state funding for school divisions with the highest percentage of African-American students. “What I think the last two weeks for us is to have some real conversation and put some real action behind our words when we talk about equity.”
At the top of the agenda for these lawmakers is something called the at-risk add on — a plan that would provide extra funding to school divisions with high rates of poverty.