Richmond, VA, Public School Budget

What is $23,853 per student buying?

A Richmond Public School is in the news again for serious violence. The district is notorious for poor academic performance and disciplinary problems. According to Great Schools, 81% of Richmond Public Schools are performing below the state average, with only 10% performing above the state average. The student body is 66% Black and 11% White.

Richmond Public Schools has published a detailed 2023-2024 School Year Budget. The total budget is $520.5 million. The report says there will be 21,819 students, which includes 750 “pre-k students.”

This comes out to a completely unbelievable $23,853 per student. Of this, a staggering $18,163 is just for salaries and employee benefits. This is 76% of the entire budget.

The report itself places salaries and benefits at 76.7% and the cost of “instruction” at 73% of the budget. This does not include the $2.5 million Capital Improvements fund.

According to the 2017-2018 budget, the Richmond School District was somehow making do with only $17,594 per student at the time.

The $134.8 million special revenue budget includes $48 million in Covid-19 relief, $18.6 million in federal funding for food, $14.8 million in federal funding under Title I to improve academic standards, $8.1 million for Head Start, as well as other federal funds for improving academic standards.


$518 million total, does not including $2.5 million capital improvements fund.


An unbelievable $397.4 million is going towards salaries and employee benefits.


Richmond School Board

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