Next week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors takes an important vote which will determine whether the community is allowed to engage in a debate to fully fund our schools or not. Hopefully, they will vote to allow a discussion.
My father attended Mt. Vernon High School. I went to the same elementary school as my father and graduated from West Potomac High School. All four of my children attend the same schools I did and will continue to do so over the coming decade.
As a parent and your State Senator, I have been disturbed by the proliferation of trailers, teachers resigning to take higher salaries elsewhere, Fairfax County Public Schools' (FCPS) unprecedented faculty vacancy rate, and other systems that offer superior technology and services to children's education due to lagging funding from both the State and Fairfax County.
In the seven years I have served in the General Assembly of Virginia, the Commonwealth has increased funding to FCPS by over $200 million per year or 48%. Here are the numbers:
During the same period, Fairfax County - who is responsible for 75% of FCPS' funding - has increased its funding of FCPS by less than 15% and maintained a real estate tax rate that is 15% below Prince William and Loudoun Counties.
Today, the Senate of Virginia will vote for an initial budget that increases funding to FCPS by an additional $27.5 million in FY17 and $52.2 million in FY18. However, Fairfax County's proposed budget underfunds FCPS' FY17 budget request by $68 million.
For over a decade, Former Mount Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland unsuccessfully fought to raise more local revenue for our schools. Next week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will set the rules of engagement by advertising a maximum real estate tax rate to consider for Fiscal Year 2017 before the ultimately deciding on the final rate later this spring. The community cannot participate in a meaningful dialogue about funding our schools unless the County advertises a tax rate that allows for a discussion - they need to ADVERTISE A DIME.
Please consider taking the following actions:
- Go on my Facebook "like" page and share this post and the graphic above and tweet#AdvertiseADime.
- Contact Fairfax County Chairman Sharon Bulova and your local supervisor and tell them to Advertise a Dime.
- Attend Supervisor Dan Storck's Town Hall , at Walt Whitman Middle School and tell him that you support Advertising a Dime.
- Sign the petition created by Mt. Vernon parents and tell the Board of Supervisors to allow a community discussion by Advertising a Dime!