October 27, 2020 News & Features » Cover Story

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Scott Barlow, 32  

Richmond School Board Member, District 2   

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Scott Elmquist

A lawyer by day, Scott Barlow spends his off hours fighting for more funding for the Richmond Public Schools. “I can say that for me it’s a pretty substantial work-School Board balance, there’s no work-life balance,” Barlow says, laughing.  

In his time as board member, Barlow has critically analyzed the admissions process to specialty schools, has worked to get teachers higher pay and has advocated for putting more nurses and counselors in schools. 

Barlow says navigating 2020 has been “extraordinarily challenging,” from pushing for a virtual return to school to opening a dialogue about racial justice.  

“In the Commonwealth we are serving a school district that has a significantly higher proportion of Black and Latino kids,” Barlow says. “This has given us time to pause and reflect on how to provide the most supportive environment.” 

Barlow has also called for the removal of day-to-day policing in schools as well as a review of the student code of conduct.  His tireless efforts on behalf of the city’s school-age kids are only natural, says Barlow, who was raised by teachers.  

“When I was young and helping out in my mom’s classroom in suburban Atlanta, I saw significant disparities in education between us and the city kids,” he says. “As much as criminal justice reform is top of mind to address inequities in society, support for our city school districts is equally important, if not more so.” 

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