Monday, April 29, 2019

Weekly Column: Northern Virginia’s Public Schools Are Not “Fully Funded”

The following is my column that will appear in the Mt. Vernon Gazette, Springfield Connection, The Prince William Times, The Fort Hunt Herald, and Potomac Local in the week of April 29, 2019.

Northern Virginia’s Public Schools Are Not “Fully Funded”

As election year heats up, some candidates use terms like “fully funded” schools.  Here’s my perspective on the subject.   
First, Virginia’s median family income is ninth in the United States.  It is largely driven by Northern Virginia counties: Fairfax County (3rd - $106,690), Stafford County (5th - $95,927), and Prince William County (6th – $93,011).  Fairfax, Stafford and Prince William Counties rank in the top 1% of all American jurisdictions - 3rd, 19th and 20th in the entire USA.  
However, per pupil investment in elementary-secondary education ranks orders of magnitude lower.  Virginia is 22nd in the country in per pupil spending, averaging around $11,432.  Arlington County leads Virginia at $19,348 per student even with a lower median income than Fairfax County.  Fairfax County “fully funds” FCPS by spending 21% less than Arlington or $15,293 per student, Prince William spends $12,427 and Stafford spends $11,319.  

Monday, April 1, 2019

Tell VDOT to Give Cyclists and Pedestrians and Cyclists a Safer Way to Cross a Multimodal U.S. 1 in 7 years!

VDOT is finalizing plans to widen U.S. 1. One of the important decisions they still need to make is whether to install an underpass below the highway at Little Hunting Creek and another at Dogue Creek.  Over the last public hearing, they have received mixed feedback over whether meeting attendees would "use" the underpass, but the meetings were largely attended by people who do not live near the crossings.

The underpass would provide many benefits: