City of Portsmouth makes $4.3 million payment to schools after superintendent raised concerns

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The superintendent of  Portsmouth City Public Schools announced Friday that schools were owed money from the city.

Dr. Elie Bracy III said the city was out $4.3 million from the city.

Around 2:30 p.m. Friday Portsmouth City Schools said they had received the payment in full.

Without the money from the city, payroll could have been affected, the superintendent said.

Bracy said the news conference Friday morning was being held because they had not gotten an answer from the city and it could have caused problems with the school year.

He added some schools may not have been able to open if the money did not come through.

Friday afternoon Councilman Dr. Mark Whitaker released a statement addressing the money issue:

"The news conference called by the Superintendent of Portsmouth Public Schools, Dr. Eli Bracy, III, regarding the failure of the City of Portsmouth to pay the "$4.3 million July payment" is highly troubling and disturbing.

The minutes of the May 9, 2017 City Council meeting record council passing an ordinance "approving the Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget for Portsmouth Public Schools ..." Furthermore, the Council approved for the City to "transfer one-third of the quarterly appropriation to the Schools on a monthly basis." Yet this has not been done.

It is troubling that the City Manager has not directed the Chief Financial Officer to pay OUR School district the monthly allocation as established by this council. I find it repugnant that this present administration, under the direction of the Mayor, continues to perpetuate an antagonistic relationship with OUR school district.

The hard working employees of the Portsmouth Public Schools and our children deserve better. We are jeopardizing and politicizing the education of our children over council members enabling our Mayor to continue to direct the City Manager in participating in these shenanigans against our School System. This must not and should not be tolerated.

At our next council meeting, Council needs to direct the City Manager to pay our schools as agreed upon by Council; as well as, discuss changing how the quarterly payment is allocated. If it is truly a quarterly allocation, then the school system should not be receiving monthly payments, rather, the school system should be receiving quarterly payments.

OUR CHILDREN MATTER"

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