HomeFairfax General ForumArrest/Ticket SearchWiki newPictures/VideosChatArticlesLinksAbout
Fairfax County General :  Fairfax Underground fairfax underground logo
Welcome to Fairfax Underground, a project site designed to improve communication among residents of Fairfax County, VA. Feel free to post anything Northern Virginia residents would find interesting.
FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Birdie ()
Date: October 16, 2008 05:39PM

Apparently, FCPS wants to spend about another $20 million to renovate
Devonshire Center, a former elementary school that is currently being used
to house FCPS staff. Headquarters staff would move out of Devonshire and
into Gatehouse 2 or other rented and presumably more luxurious space.

Then, FCPS would force the kids who live within walking distance of Graham
Road ES to attend the renovated Devonshire ES, and bus them to Devonshire
ES. FCPS has argued that this is best for the kids because they'll have
more playground space and be on a quieter street. But, parents at Graham
Road ES disagree with FCPS, and want to keep their school open.

http://www.savegrahamroad.com/docs/school-board-20080313.pdf

And, the community also has refuted various FCPS claims about why they
shouldn't be allowed to keep their neighborhood school.

http://www.savegrahamroad.com/docs/school-board-20080509.pdf

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: SB ()
Date: October 16, 2008 07:07PM

Birdie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Apparently, FCPS wants to spend about another $20
> million to renovate
> Devonshire Center, a former elementary school that
> is currently being used
> to house FCPS staff. Headquarters staff would
> move out of Devonshire and
> into Gatehouse 2 or other rented and presumably
> more luxurious space.
>
> Then, FCPS would force the kids who live within
> walking distance of Graham
> Road ES to attend the renovated Devonshire ES, and
> bus them to Devonshire
> ES. FCPS has argued that this is best for the
> kids because they'll have
> more playground space and be on a quieter street.
> But, parents at Graham
> Road ES disagree with FCPS, and want to keep their
> school open.
>
> http://www.savegrahamroad.com/docs/school-board-20
> 080313.pdf
>
> And, the community also has refuted various FCPS
> claims about why they
> shouldn't be allowed to keep their neighborhood
> school.
>
> http://www.savegrahamroad.com/docs/school-board-20
> 080509.pdf


This SB needs to be stopped.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: FCPS is a bully ()
Date: October 16, 2008 10:31PM

Ever watch those animal shows were the tigers isolate the one animal and then go in for the kill?

This reminds me of FCPS.

They are very good at isolating a group, making sure they are not too big or powerful to take them on, and then they rape and pillage.

Madison Island comes to mind-they strip a neighborhood but make sure the group is not too large to make noise.

Why are they picking on this Graham Road community? This school is a lower income school where the kids walk to school and hang out there.

Now FCPS wants to move them a mile down the road so they can accomodate their administrative staff.

Incredible, will this school board ever stop being the bully?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: taxpayer ()
Date: October 17, 2008 12:13AM

these were some of the folks [devonshire unnecessaries]they planned to move to gatehouse 2 while making the graham site a county services building plus medical clinics daycare---watched the public meetings last year. The people who are bussed to graham want out -- regualr suburban campus. This is an old issue and IMHO was used to justify gatehouse. The kids living by devonshire wouldn't go there since they go to a different school now.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Because they can ()
Date: October 17, 2008 12:49AM

The school board will continue to do whatever they want, because they can. As long as the voters in FC will vote for anyone the democrats tell them to vote for, they will continue to get the school board they deserve.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: No to school bonds ()
Date: October 17, 2008 04:51AM

Spend, Spend, Spend

When will the pot go empty? Vote no on all school bonds.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: MORE WASTE ()
Date: October 23, 2008 06:37AM

DID YOU KNOW?

The Fairfax County School Board looking to buy Gatehouse II for administrative staff regardless of huge fiscal shortfalls, economic uncertainty and potential furloughs for county employees

The Fairfax County School Board recently proposed the purchase of a newly renovated facility for the County’s school administrative staff, called Gatehouse II.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously not to approve the purchase saying it wanted “proof of cost savings of Gatehouse I before moving forward with the second phase of the school system’s consolidation.”

School Board is reworking their numbers, trying to figure out a way to obtain approval from the Board of Supervisors to purchase the facility.

WHAT YOU SHOULD ALSO KNOW…

Gatehouse II will actually cost $273 million

The School Board presented the following requests to the Board of Supervisors on September 22, 2008 regarding the proposed purchase:
Approve a new bond issue, not to exceed $130 million, for permanent financing of the Gatehouse II acquisition, with debt service on the permanent bonds projected to be $8.2 million per year, starting in Fiscal Year 2013.

Renovate, vacate and transfer the following facilities to Fairfax County: 
o Leis Center
o Sprague Center
o A portion of Wilton Woods Center

Renovate the following facilities, consolidate school staff and services in the facilities but retain the buildings for possible future use as schools:
o Devonshire Center
o Dunn Loring Center
o Lacey Center

The following facts are provided to FairfaxCAPS by construction industry experts:

Using the $130 million projected for permanent financing and a capital construction/activation factor of 1.1 (typical for FCEDA School Bonds), we would actually pay $273 million for this project.
What are the additional costs of all of the renovations to vacated properties and why are they not listed as part of the overall project cost and business case?

There is no data on the costs of the renovations upon vacating these properties in the business case. Devonshire Center, alone, is expected to cost $5.8 million in renovations. The business case only mentions the savings anticipated from lease revenue.
Yet the School Board claims that Gatehouse II is self funding:

“Self-Funding: The purchase, renovation and operation of the BPG building is self-funded
through the consolidation of the 14 status quo FCPS owned and leased administrative
properties. No direct school operating or capital funds are impacted.”
The business case fails to provide return on investment (ROI), the internal rate of return, net present value and payback period calculations for the entire project to support true cost/benefit analyses.
Where is the Appraisal for Gatehouse II?
FairfaxCAPS submitted Freedom of Information Acts (FOIA) to both the School Board and the Board of Supervisors requesting a copy of the appraisal for Gatehouse II.

We have not heard back from the Board of Supervisors, however, the School Board’s attorney provided the following explanation as to why our request was denied:

“We have checked with personnel from the Fairfax County Public Schools, and we have been advised that the School Board did not send any such documents to the Board of Supervisors. Staff is aware of only one document that was prepared by the School Board staff for presentation to the Board of Supervisors.  That document was prepared to present the proposed acquisition of an administration building to the Board of Supervisors in a closed session.”

Michael Long
Senior Assistant County Attorney
Fairfax County
 
WHAT YOU CAN DO…

Write to your Board of Supervisors representative http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/ and to your School Board representative http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/members.htm and ask why our tax dollars are funding a new building for staff, instead of new schools and desperately needed school renovations for our kids.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: DID YOU KNOW ()
Date: November 03, 2008 12:47PM

Parents Angered by School Board Decision to Move Graham Road Elementary School
Issue Update

DID YOU KNOW?

On November 8, 2005, the taxpayers of Fairfax County approved a bond referendum which included the renovation of Graham Road Elementary School. Contrary to the will of the voting taxpayers of Fairfax County, the School Board has now decided NOT to renovate the school – instead, they plan to bus the children to a facility just ONE mile down the road. As a result, they now plan to disrupt the lives of hundreds of children…

AFTER the 2005 School Board Bond Resolution was passed by the Board of Supervisors and AFTER the taxpayers approved the bond, the Fairfax County School Board moved ahead with plans to establish a “planning team” in 2007 to study the feasibility of closing the Graham Road Elementary School and moving the students to another facility, Devonshire Center, just one mile from the school’s present location.

Parents did everything within their power to stop the move including contacting and testifying before the School Board, instituting a petition drive, and posting their pleas on a community web site www.savegrahamroad.com in order to save their school from being moved outside of the community and outside of the school’s boundaries.

Graham Road Elementary School is located in the community of Kingsley Commons. The ownership of Kingsley Commons has made numerous, generous offers to keep the school “as is,” including a Head Start facility worth $400,000 and a shared parking arrangement for 30 additional parking spaces. Kingsley Commons has already started construction of 23 parking spaces for the school. According to Fairfax County Public School Facilities, the county would save $1-2 million a year by leaving the Devonshire staff at Devonshire and not moving Graham Road Elementary School.

Regardless of the offers by the ownership of Kingsley Commons and the pleas of the parents and community, the School Board unanimously voted in May 2008 to close the school.

As a result of the School Board’s vote, the parents organized and filed a lawsuit.

The basis of this law suit is that the School Board’s action was arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law.  Specifically, the School Board violated their own policies and the Public Finance Act when they voted that the funding source for the renovation for Devonshire would be the 2005 Graham Road Elementary School Bond monies.

The Devonshire facility is outside the boundaries for Graham Road Elementary School and because almost all of the children walk to school, this move would require that almost all students are now bused - AT A COST OF MORE THAN $3.6 MILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT 5 YEARS!

Another consideration is that there is a Child Find program currently located within the Devonshire facility. This program provides intervention to preschool age children, especially culturally and linguistically diverse children. Since Graham Road enrollment is 95% minority children, moving this program from Devonshire to a new facility as proposed by the School Board would hurt these children and could potentially violate No Child Left Behind federal mandates. There are currently 280 students in the Child Find program at the Devonshire facility.

The decision has fueled discussions amongst local PTAs and other civic organizations encouraging taxpayers to NOT approve any future school bond referendums as the voters have no say in what happens to their money. This will hurt all of our children.


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW…

Why the School Board wants to move Graham Road:


School Board’s Position Facts
Increasing Student Population requires additional capacity, particularly with new development in Merrifield and Dunn Loring.
There is no evidence that the population of students in the immediate area will increase in the next 10 years per a comprehensive report to Facilities and Operations Director which has not been rebutted.

Construction Will Continue Until 1 am and the Noise will be Unbearable
There are laws preventing construction noise past certain hours and even if the noise did go into the night – THE PARENTS ARE IN FAVOR OF RENOVATIONS TO SAVE THEIR SCHOOL
Visit www.savegrahamroad.com for details.

Renovations at Graham Road will be Impossible Due to the Site Conditions
Facilities staff claim that: (1) Renovations of existing school buildings is what they do; and, (2) This school is not different or unusual such that FCPS can’t do their job.

There is no Place for Recreation at Graham Road. The School Board says that “it wants a soccer field at the school and there is no room for it.“
The parents did not ask for a soccer field.
How will the children participate in soccer if they are bused? Almost all of the children currently walk to Graham Road and will not be able to join sports and other extracurricular activities at Devonshire.

The Neighborhood Around Graham Road is Not Safe. There are Day Laborers Wandering Around.
Kingsley Commons has a police officer living on-site and is one of the safest communities of its type in Fairfax County. There are no recorded incidents of any teacher or any student being assaulted by anyone.



WHAT YOU SHOULD ALSO KNOW…

Graham Road has a “small footprint” because it is an urban school. It is convenient and central to the lives of the children living in the Kingsley Commons community. The School Board will destroy the foundation of these children, simply for the sake of a bigger playground.

The School Board also proposed moving FCPS staff from Devonshire into a plush building called Gatehouse II with amenities such as a Health Center, spa and swimming pool. If Graham Road is not moved to the Devonshire facility, then it would be very difficult for the School Board to justify its purchase of Gatehouse II, given that the plan was to move 150 staff from Devonshire to Gatehouse II.


Parents – Leave School at Current Site School Board – Move School to Devonshire
$15,323,000 to renovate Graham Road
$15,323,000 (Equivalent cost to renovate Devonshire)

$1-2 million estimated cost to relocate Devonshire staff
Additional expenses to renovate Graham Road into a Community Building which will remain in the FCPS inventory of properties. Note that the School Board has no idea how much this will cost – refer to footnote below.

$452,213 per bus (assumes 5 year lease + 5 years operating expenses) x 8 buses = $3,617,704 additional expense for buses

$15,323,000 $20,000,000+


WHAT YOU CAN DO…

Write to your Board of Supervisors representative http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/ and to your School Board representative http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/members.htm and ask why our tax dollars are funding the move of Graham Road Elementary School just one mile, instead of leaving the school alone and renovating the existing structure so that the kids can enjoy their community school, not disrupt the relationship between the community and the school, and save our tax dollars! Also send copies to the media:

Fairfax Times:  scahill@timespapers.com, kcompton@timespapers.com,
Connection Newspapers: smauren@connectionnewspapers.com, mirza@connectionnewspapers.com,
Washington Examiner: bhollingsworth@dcexaminer.com, c.braunlich@att.net
Washington Post editor@washingtonpost.com

Attend Fairfax County School Board meetings http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/calendar.htm and voice your concerns about the school being moved.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: COPS ()
Date: November 03, 2008 12:58PM

Graham ES is fulled of poor low income & illegal aliens kids. We need to shut it down and do a document check on all of them before move them to the Devonshire ES. Deport them.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: ICE ()
Date: November 03, 2008 01:15PM

COPS Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Graham ES is fulled of poor low income & illegal
> aliens kids. We need to shut it down and do a
> document check on all of them before move them to
> the Devonshire ES. Deport them.


You hit the nail on the head, COPS.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Vince(1) ()
Date: November 03, 2008 03:57PM

god bless all illegals..they work hard...dont complain and pay taxes!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: vince is wrong ()
Date: November 04, 2008 08:37AM

God bless illegals - they do work hard. They don't complain. They by and large, however, don't pay income taxes, and neither do they file for the same. And they consume significant social services, far outstripping the taxes they do pay. This must change.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: tj2008 ()
Date: November 04, 2008 08:48AM

and when Obama ties the federal portion of School money to middle and high schoolers doing their 'community service' (50 hours per year per child) you'll se school money being cut even more.

where with the rest of the money go?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Cuts are coming ()
Date: November 20, 2008 12:51PM

THIS IS ONLY THE START OF CUTS IN THE FCPS SYSTEM.

FCPS WILL BE SHORT ABOUT $250 MILLION NEXT YEAR AND THEY STILL WANT TO SPEND $300 MILLION ON GATEHOUSE II SO THAT THE FAT CATS WILL HAVE PLUSH OFFICE.

SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In Fairfax County, Two Sports in Jeopardy

By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, November 20, 2008; E06



Fairfax County high school gymnastics and indoor track could be eliminated when the 2010 budget is adopted in May as the school district copes with a $170 million shortfall. School officials say the measure would affect about 2,600 athletes and save the county an estimated $471,000.

Schools Superintendent Jack D. Dale unveiled three budget proposals at a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting last week. Each proposal called for gymnastics to be cut; indoor track would be nixed in the most severe proposal, which also included cuts of $219 million and the elimination of 1,500 county schools positions.

"There are going to be cuts," said Fairfax County Director of Student Activities Bill Curran, noting most of the cuts are not related to athletics. "We're looking at taking the impacts that we can survive and maintaining as many of our programs as we can."

Such a move, made in a county that has been ranked among the nation's wealthiest and with 24 of its 25 schools appearing on Newsweek's 2008 list of America's top public high schools, is a consequence of the nation's economic crisis. Fairfax, a county with a median household income of more than $100,000, has experienced a steep decline in housing prices and anticipated property tax revenue, according to Curran.

"It simply isn't realistic to think we can operate with vast budget cuts and not talk about the athletics. It's all got to go together," Curran said.

Fairfax, however, appears to be the only county in the Washington area willing to cut sports. School athletic officials in Arlington, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Montgomery, Prince George's, Howard, Anne Arundel, Charles, St. Mary's and Calvert counties, plus Alexandria and the District, say they do not plan to eliminate any high school sports.

All of those jurisdictions except Loudoun offer indoor track; in Maryland, only Montgomery and Anne Arundel offer gymnastics.

Curran said Fairfax targeted gymnastics and indoor track for cuts because there were other avenues for those athletes to compete. "Gymnastics has it at the private level [club gymnastics], and track really had it in the spring," Curran said. "There are still some opportunities to run in the spring and for distance runners to do cross-country in the fall." According to the FCPS schools' budget-cutting proposal, cutting track would save $250,000.

"I don't know why track would be targeted. Think about it -- it's so simple. For a poor kid, all you need is a pair of shoes and a good coach," said Herndon's Peter Sherry, who coaches the school's indoor, outdoor and cross-country teams.

Gymnastics cuts would affect approximately 125 female athletes and save the county an additional $221,000 through the elimination of 25 head coaching supplements, 25 assistant coach supplements, officials fees and transportation. In Fairfax County, a head gymnastics coach is paid a $4,000 stipend.

"We've seen a steady decline in participation over the past seven or eight years," Curran said of gymnastics. "It's been on the table for the past few years."

Curran said that 14 of 25 Fairfax schools fielded gymnastics teams last winter. In 2002, Fairfax County had 21 active teams and had more than 200 girls participating.

"Because [gymnastics] is not in every school, not everyone supports it," said W.T. Woodson Coach Mike Cooper, whose teams have won more than two dozen local and state boys' and girls' titles in his 25-year career. "Because some schools don't have a team, it's easy to say, 'Yes, let's cut it.' The schools that have it and support the program see that it's beneficial."

About 2,500 students participate in indoor track, which has long served as a catch-all sport for athletes looking for a way to train during the offseason.

"All of the sudden you are sending 2,500 kids out into traffic, out into the streets with nothing to do," Sherry said.

Since the boys' indoor track and field state meet became an official VHSL championship event in 1950, Northern Region teams have won 18 state titles. The girls' teams have combined for 14 of 27 titles since the girls' meet became official in 1982. In February, the Fairfax County Park Authority entertained several proposals that called for a 250,000-square-foot indoor track facility at Laurel Hill Park, the site of the former Lorton Penitentiary. "We had a lot of discussion, but ultimately, with no funding, there was no plan," Curran said.

Fairfax County schools must travel to meets all over the East Coast, and run a majority of their indoor meets at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex, an 80-acre facility adjacent to FedEx Field in Landover. Travel costs to the county were $92,000 last year, Curran said.

"We don't have a facility that supports it," Curran said.

Centreville Principal Mike Campbell, chairman of the Northern Region Council, a group of athletic directors and principals, said that Fairfax schools are considering running indoor meets outdoors this season and weighing several other "creative solutions," Campbell said.

Losing Fairfax County's 25 indoor track teams would make the "Northern Region championship very interesting, between four or five schools," said T.C. Williams Principal Bill Clendaniel, whose school is located in Alexandria.

Washington-Lee, Wakefield and Yorktown (all located in Arlington), T.C. Williams and Loudoun's Stone Bridge compete in the Northern Region but are funded separately.

Curran said that future cuts in the county sports program would not target any individual sports but would be made by trimming a "little bit from everywhere," such as reducing the number of games at the non-varsity level.

Swimming, which has often been a candidate for cuts in the past, was not an option during the evaluation process because Curran said the sport had not seen a decline in participation.

This is not the first time high school sports in the area have felt the bottom line. When facing a budget shortfall in 1991, Fairfax cut the number of sporting events for every team, other than varsity football and boys' and girls' basketball, by one to four games. Other events, many on the sub-varsity level, were dropped, but no sports were eliminated.

In 1992, Fairfax proposed cutting swimming and diving, which prompted such a furious, well-organized "Save Our Sport" outcry that the program was restored to the budget. Boys' gymnastics and freshman cheerleading also were among proposed cuts that year, but they, too, were spared.

Nationally, the school board in Mount Vernon, N.Y., last summer eliminated funding for its high school sports after voters twice rejected a proposed budget; however, because of donations to a "Save Our Sports" initiative -- including a reported $100,000 from former resident and actor Denzel Washington -- sports have survived in Mount Vernon, for now.

In March, nearly 1,000 students at Encinal High School in Alameda, Calif., staged a walkout, leaving their classrooms and marching two miles to the superintendent's office in protest of the local school board's decision to cut the high schools' sports budget by 57 percent. A $120 per parcel tax passed in June, saving the school district's athletic program.

Curran did not know if a "Save Our Sports" initiative would work.

"I went this morning to ask that question and I was told that was up to the school board," Curran said.

Robinson Director of Student Activities Marty Riddle said he is exploring sponsorship options, recently meeting with a marketing firm to discuss a regionwide sponsorship of Northern Region athletics.

"It's something we're in the very tentative stages of investigating," Riddle said. "One of the untapped resources, from a marketing standpoint, is high school athletics and how they can be generating more money for us as schools. It's a fine line because you don't want a school to go overboard, but at the same time, if it's a revenue stream that hasn't been tapped. . . . We'll see if we can find a happy medium in there."

The school board is holding budget-specific public hearings Jan. 26-27 and May 12-13, and the Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings March 31-April 2.

Staff writer Preston Williams contributed to this report.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Reduce staff first ()
Date: November 20, 2008 05:16PM

Cuts are coming Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> THIS IS ONLY THE START OF CUTS IN THE FCPS
> SYSTEM.
>
> FCPS WILL BE SHORT ABOUT $250 MILLION NEXT YEAR
> AND THEY STILL WANT TO SPEND $300 MILLION ON
> GATEHOUSE II SO THAT THE FAT CATS WILL HAVE PLUSH
> OFFICE.
>
> SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE?
>
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----------------------------
>
> In Fairfax County, Two Sports in Jeopardy
>
> By B.J. Koubaroulis
> Special to The Washington Post
> Thursday, November 20, 2008; E06
>
>
>
> Fairfax County high school gymnastics and indoor
> track could be eliminated when the 2010 budget is
> adopted in May as the school district copes with a
> $170 million shortfall. School officials say the
> measure would affect about 2,600 athletes and save
> the county an estimated $471,000.
>
> Schools Superintendent Jack D. Dale unveiled three
> budget proposals at a Fairfax County Board of
> Supervisors meeting last week. Each proposal
> called for gymnastics to be cut; indoor track
> would be nixed in the most severe proposal, which
> also included cuts of $219 million and the
> elimination of 1,500 county schools positions.
>
> "There are going to be cuts," said Fairfax County
> Director of Student Activities Bill Curran, noting
> most of the cuts are not related to athletics.
> "We're looking at taking the impacts that we can
> survive and maintaining as many of our programs as
> we can."
>
> Such a move, made in a county that has been ranked
> among the nation's wealthiest and with 24 of its
> 25 schools appearing on Newsweek's 2008 list of
> America's top public high schools, is a
> consequence of the nation's economic crisis.
> Fairfax, a county with a median household income
> of more than $100,000, has experienced a steep
> decline in housing prices and anticipated property
> tax revenue, according to Curran.
>
> "It simply isn't realistic to think we can operate
> with vast budget cuts and not talk about the
> athletics. It's all got to go together," Curran
> said.
>
> Fairfax, however, appears to be the only county in
> the Washington area willing to cut sports. School
> athletic officials in Arlington, Loudoun, Prince
> William, Spotsylvania, Montgomery, Prince
> George's, Howard, Anne Arundel, Charles, St.
> Mary's and Calvert counties, plus Alexandria and
> the District, say they do not plan to eliminate
> any high school sports.
>
> All of those jurisdictions except Loudoun offer
> indoor track; in Maryland, only Montgomery and
> Anne Arundel offer gymnastics.
>
> Curran said Fairfax targeted gymnastics and indoor
> track for cuts because there were other avenues
> for those athletes to compete. "Gymnastics has it
> at the private level , and track really had it in
> the spring," Curran said. "There are still some
> opportunities to run in the spring and for
> distance runners to do cross-country in the fall."
> According to the FCPS schools' budget-cutting
> proposal, cutting track would save $250,000.
>
> "I don't know why track would be targeted. Think
> about it -- it's so simple. For a poor kid, all
> you need is a pair of shoes and a good coach,"
> said Herndon's Peter Sherry, who coaches the
> school's indoor, outdoor and cross-country teams.
>
> Gymnastics cuts would affect approximately 125
> female athletes and save the county an additional
> $221,000 through the elimination of 25 head
> coaching supplements, 25 assistant coach
> supplements, officials fees and transportation. In
> Fairfax County, a head gymnastics coach is paid a
> $4,000 stipend.
>
> "We've seen a steady decline in participation over
> the past seven or eight years," Curran said of
> gymnastics. "It's been on the table for the past
> few years."
>
> Curran said that 14 of 25 Fairfax schools fielded
> gymnastics teams last winter. In 2002, Fairfax
> County had 21 active teams and had more than 200
> girls participating.
>
> "Because is not in every school, not everyone
> supports it," said W.T. Woodson Coach Mike Cooper,
> whose teams have won more than two dozen local and
> state boys' and girls' titles in his 25-year
> career. "Because some schools don't have a team,
> it's easy to say, 'Yes, let's cut it.' The schools
> that have it and support the program see that it's
> beneficial."
>
> About 2,500 students participate in indoor track,
> which has long served as a catch-all sport for
> athletes looking for a way to train during the
> offseason.
>
> "All of the sudden you are sending 2,500 kids out
> into traffic, out into the streets with nothing to
> do," Sherry said.
>
> Since the boys' indoor track and field state meet
> became an official VHSL championship event in
> 1950, Northern Region teams have won 18 state
> titles. The girls' teams have combined for 14 of
> 27 titles since the girls' meet became official in
> 1982. In February, the Fairfax County Park
> Authority entertained several proposals that
> called for a 250,000-square-foot indoor track
> facility at Laurel Hill Park, the site of the
> former Lorton Penitentiary. "We had a lot of
> discussion, but ultimately, with no funding, there
> was no plan," Curran said.
>
> Fairfax County schools must travel to meets all
> over the East Coast, and run a majority of their
> indoor meets at the Prince George's Sports &
> Learning Complex, an 80-acre facility adjacent to
> FedEx Field in Landover. Travel costs to the
> county were $92,000 last year, Curran said.
>
> "We don't have a facility that supports it,"
> Curran said.
>
> Centreville Principal Mike Campbell, chairman of
> the Northern Region Council, a group of athletic
> directors and principals, said that Fairfax
> schools are considering running indoor meets
> outdoors this season and weighing several other
> "creative solutions," Campbell said.
>
> Losing Fairfax County's 25 indoor track teams
> would make the "Northern Region championship very
> interesting, between four or five schools," said
> T.C. Williams Principal Bill Clendaniel, whose
> school is located in Alexandria.
>
> Washington-Lee, Wakefield and Yorktown (all
> located in Arlington), T.C. Williams and Loudoun's
> Stone Bridge compete in the Northern Region but
> are funded separately.
>
> Curran said that future cuts in the county sports
> program would not target any individual sports but
> would be made by trimming a "little bit from
> everywhere," such as reducing the number of games
> at the non-varsity level.
>
> Swimming, which has often been a candidate for
> cuts in the past, was not an option during the
> evaluation process because Curran said the sport
> had not seen a decline in participation.
>
> This is not the first time high school sports in
> the area have felt the bottom line. When facing a
> budget shortfall in 1991, Fairfax cut the number
> of sporting events for every team, other than
> varsity football and boys' and girls' basketball,
> by one to four games. Other events, many on the
> sub-varsity level, were dropped, but no sports
> were eliminated.
>
> In 1992, Fairfax proposed cutting swimming and
> diving, which prompted such a furious,
> well-organized "Save Our Sport" outcry that the
> program was restored to the budget. Boys'
> gymnastics and freshman cheerleading also were
> among proposed cuts that year, but they, too, were
> spared.
>
> Nationally, the school board in Mount Vernon,
> N.Y., last summer eliminated funding for its high
> school sports after voters twice rejected a
> proposed budget; however, because of donations to
> a "Save Our Sports" initiative -- including a
> reported $100,000 from former resident and actor
> Denzel Washington -- sports have survived in Mount
> Vernon, for now.
>
> In March, nearly 1,000 students at Encinal High
> School in Alameda, Calif., staged a walkout,
> leaving their classrooms and marching two miles to
> the superintendent's office in protest of the
> local school board's decision to cut the high
> schools' sports budget by 57 percent. A $120 per
> parcel tax passed in June, saving the school
> district's athletic program.
>
> Curran did not know if a "Save Our Sports"
> initiative would work.
>
> "I went this morning to ask that question and I
> was told that was up to the school board," Curran
> said.
>
> Robinson Director of Student Activities Marty
> Riddle said he is exploring sponsorship options,
> recently meeting with a marketing firm to discuss
> a regionwide sponsorship of Northern Region
> athletics.
>
> "It's something we're in the very tentative stages
> of investigating," Riddle said. "One of the
> untapped resources, from a marketing standpoint,
> is high school athletics and how they can be
> generating more money for us as schools. It's a
> fine line because you don't want a school to go
> overboard, but at the same time, if it's a revenue
> stream that hasn't been tapped. . . . We'll see if
> we can find a happy medium in there."
>
> The school board is holding budget-specific public
> hearings Jan. 26-27 and May 12-13, and the Board
> of Supervisors will hold public hearings March
> 31-April 2.
>
> Staff writer Preston Williams contributed to this
> report.


Save the sport programs and reduce Dales staff at Gatehouse I by 2 million dollars.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Save $150,000 ()
Date: November 20, 2008 05:42PM

Since Bill Curran does nothing as the head AD, fire his butt and save $150,000.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: bus driver ()
Date: November 20, 2008 07:34PM

No, they won't fire the big guys. But they are already letting custodians and administrative assistants go. The schools will be dirtier and the phone may not be answered but hey they're doing something about the deficit, right?

We figure us busdrivers are next. It sucks.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Blotted staff ()
Date: November 21, 2008 03:34AM

bus driver Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No, they won't fire the big guys. But they are
> already letting custodians and administrative
> assistants go. The schools will be dirtier and
> the phone may not be answered but hey they're
> doing something about the deficit, right?
>
> We figure us busdrivers are next. It sucks.


How many teachers and bus drivers will have to go before Dale cuts any of his blotted staff?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: POT IS EMPTY ()
Date: November 24, 2008 05:16AM

No to school bonds Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Spend, Spend, Spend
>
> When will the pot go empty? Vote no on all school
> bonds.

The pot is empty and yet the SB and Jack Dale want to move ahead with spending $300 million dollars for a building that is almost forty years old.

Spend $300 million and at the same time increase class room size, let go teachers and no improvements to schools that are falling apart.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: formerhick76 ()
Date: November 24, 2008 08:47AM

The usual tactic is to cut small, popular things and prompt a public outcry. By the time things settle, the budget crisis has passed.

But hey, it's just as easy to decry unnamed 'bureaucrats.'

We want high quality schools, and Fairfax is a high-salary, high-cost area. I've heard Mississippi has lower taxes and doesn't have bloated education budgets.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ()
Date: November 26, 2008 06:28AM

If you think FCPS is wasting money now, wait till the following is implemented in VA.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------


The verdict?

Grant a mass amnesty to the unscrupulous construction contractors, service businesses and manufacturers who have been enticing illegal aliens to take jobs away from Virginia workers.

Offer U.S. citizenship to all the illegal workers so they can permanently keep those jobs out of the hands of unemployed Virginians.

Oh, and here's the really brilliant suggestion -- increase the importation of new foreign workers.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: oaktonmom ()
Date: November 26, 2008 07:25AM

Go to www.numbersusa.com for details and contact information for Kaine, etc

PROTEST VIRGINIA

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: formerhick76 ()
Date: November 26, 2008 08:10AM

It seems from hearing conservatives, being an illegal alien would be the best career path.

Maybe the folks here should look into becoming illegal aliens. Simply claim that you're Aussie or whatnot and then reap the benefits of being an illegal alien.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: November 26, 2008 12:36PM

oaktonmom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Go to www.numbersusa.com for details and contact
> information for Kaine, etc
>
> PROTEST VIRGINIA



im protesting protests.


"the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."095042938540
Attachments:
2395848150_a035ee2dcf.jpg

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: FairfaxTaxpayer ()
Date: November 26, 2008 01:20PM

It seems that Fairfax Times believes we should continue throwing money at the school system. See:

http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/news/2008/nov/25/tough-decisions/

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: typical fallacy ()
Date: November 27, 2008 12:45AM

Like many of the ignornant voters of FC, the Fairfax Times believes that more money equals better schools. If that were true, DC would have the best schools in the US since they spend more per pupil than any other system. There has never been one bit of evidence to support the fallacy, yet the school system continues to promote it, and the fools continue to believe it, and vote to raise their own taxes. Idiots.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Bob ()
Date: November 27, 2008 02:04AM

formerhick76 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It seems from hearing conservatives, being an
> illegal alien would be the best career path.
>
> Maybe the folks here should look into becoming
> illegal aliens. Simply claim that you're Aussie or
> whatnot and then reap the benefits of being an
> illegal alien.

But you're forgetting that in the mythical world of "brown people are out to get us all" these foreigners have some inherent knowledge about how to game our system and take advantage of all the "liberal" programs.

Hate politics doesn't exist within the boundaries of reality.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: No more money ()
Date: November 27, 2008 04:35AM

typical fallacy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Like many of the ignornant voters of FC, the
> Fairfax Times believes that more money equals
> better schools. If that were true, DC would have
> the best schools in the US since they spend more
> per pupil than any other system. There has never
> been one bit of evidence to support the fallacy,
> yet the school system continues to promote it, and
> the fools continue to believe it, and vote to
> raise their own taxes. Idiots.

I agree. With all the money FCPS gets, we still have high drop out rates and low scores.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: NO TAJ MAHAL ()
Date: November 29, 2008 02:36AM

MORE WASTE Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> DID YOU KNOW?
>
> The Fairfax County School Board looking to buy
> Gatehouse II for administrative staff regardless
> of huge fiscal shortfalls, economic uncertainty
> and potential furloughs for county employees
>
> The Fairfax County School Board recently proposed
> the purchase of a newly renovated facility for the
> County’s school administrative staff, called
> Gatehouse II.
>
> The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously not to
> approve the purchase saying it wanted “proof of
> cost savings of Gatehouse I before moving forward
> with the second phase of the school system’s
> consolidation.”
>
> School Board is reworking their numbers, trying to
> figure out a way to obtain approval from the Board
> of Supervisors to purchase the facility.
>
> WHAT YOU SHOULD ALSO KNOW…
>
> Gatehouse II will actually cost $273 million
>
> The School Board presented the following requests
> to the Board of Supervisors on September 22, 2008
> regarding the proposed purchase:
> Approve a new bond issue, not to exceed $130
> million, for permanent financing of the Gatehouse
> II acquisition, with debt service on the permanent
> bonds projected to be $8.2 million per year,
> starting in Fiscal Year 2013.
>
> Renovate, vacate and transfer the following
> facilities to Fairfax County: 
> o Leis Center
> o Sprague Center
> o A portion of Wilton Woods Center
>
> Renovate the following facilities, consolidate
> school staff and services in the facilities but
> retain the buildings for possible future use as
> schools:
> o Devonshire Center
> o Dunn Loring Center
> o Lacey Center
>
> The following facts are provided to FairfaxCAPS by
> construction industry experts:
>
> Using the $130 million projected for permanent
> financing and a capital construction/activation
> factor of 1.1 (typical for FCEDA School Bonds), we
> would actually pay $273 million for this project.
> What are the additional costs of all of the
> renovations to vacated properties and why are they
> not listed as part of the overall project cost and
> business case?
>
> There is no data on the costs of the renovations
> upon vacating these properties in the business
> case. Devonshire Center, alone, is expected to
> cost $5.8 million in renovations. The business
> case only mentions the savings anticipated from
> lease revenue.
> Yet the School Board claims that Gatehouse II is
> self funding:
>
> “Self-Funding: The purchase, renovation and
> operation of the BPG building is self-funded
> through the consolidation of the 14 status quo
> FCPS owned and leased administrative
> properties. No direct school operating or capital
> funds are impacted.”
> The business case fails to provide return on
> investment (ROI), the internal rate of return, net
> present value and payback period calculations for
> the entire project to support true cost/benefit
> analyses.
> Where is the Appraisal for Gatehouse II?
> FairfaxCAPS submitted Freedom of Information Acts
> (FOIA) to both the School Board and the Board of
> Supervisors requesting a copy of the appraisal for
> Gatehouse II.
>
> We have not heard back from the Board of
> Supervisors, however, the School Board’s attorney
> provided the following explanation as to why our
> request was denied:
>
> “We have checked with personnel from the Fairfax
> County Public Schools, and we have been advised
> that the School Board did not send any such
> documents to the Board of Supervisors. Staff is
> aware of only one document that was prepared by
> the School Board staff for presentation to the
> Board of Supervisors.  That document was prepared
> to present the proposed acquisition of an
> administration building to the Board of
> Supervisors in a closed session.”
>
> Michael Long
> Senior Assistant County Attorney
> Fairfax County
>  
> WHAT YOU CAN DO…
>
> Write to your Board of Supervisors representative
> http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/ and
> to your School Board representative
> http://www.fcps.edu/schlbd/members.htm and ask why
> our tax dollars are funding a new building for
> staff, instead of new schools and desperately
> needed school renovations for our kids.

NO TAJ MAHAL FOR DALE AND THE SCHOOL BOARD. We need this money for the students, not Gatehouse II.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: TAJ MAHAL ()
Date: December 02, 2008 03:09AM

The pot is empty and yet the SB and Jack Dale want to move ahead with spending $300 million dollars for a building that is almost forty years old.

Spend $300 million and at the same time increase class room size, let go teachers and no improvements to schools that are falling apart.

JACK DALE AND THE SCHOOL BOARD ARE REQUESTING A YES VOTE BY THE BOS ON 12/17.

I THINK THE SB, DALE AND THE BOS ARE OUT OF CONTROL IF THEY MOVE AHEAD WITH SPENDING $300 MILLION ON THIS TAJ MAHAL.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: when? ()
Date: December 02, 2008 10:22AM

JACK DALE AND THE SCHOOL BOARD ARE REQUESTING A YES VOTE BY THE BOS ON 12/17.

which board on what date? Neither have any sort of meeting on the 17th of December...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Genevieve ()
Date: December 02, 2008 02:57PM

Cuts are coming Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Gymnastics cuts would affect approximately 125
> female athletes and save the county an additional
> $221,000 through the elimination of 25 head
> coaching supplements, 25 assistant coach
> supplements, officials fees and transportation. In
> Fairfax County, a head gymnastics coach is paid a
> $4,000 stipend.

So we are paying $1768 for each gymnast? For an extra-curricular activity? Cut away.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Gravis ()
Date: December 02, 2008 03:35PM

Genevieve Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So we are paying $1768 for each gymnast? For an
> extra-curricular activity? Cut away.


what i want to know is how much they are paying for microsoft products every year. there are FREE alternatives that are better and what i find stupid is they keep buying new computers. seriously, they dont need anything beyond a 1GHz CPU and 512MB of RAM. you can run a nice linux desktop and apps with a machine from 1998. they dont need machines that run the latest games.


"the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."095042938540

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: MOUNT VERNON DISTRICT ()
Date: December 02, 2008 04:15PM

If you live in the Mount Vernon district, this is for you.


The pot is empty and yet the SB and Jack Dale want to move ahead with spending $300 million dollars for a building that is almost forty years old.

Spend $300 million and at the same time increase class room size, lay off teachers, cut bus routes, cut school programs and no improvements to schools that are falling apart.

JACK DALE AND THE SCHOOL BOARD ARE REQUESTING A YES VOTE BY THE BOS ON 12/17.

Write or call BOS Gerry Hyland
and Dan Storck of the school board:

Tell them NO to Gatehouse II. This is not the time to buy this building when we are facing huge budget cuts.

Contact Supervisor Gerry Hyland

703-780-7518, TTY 711


Contact Dan Storck

571 423 1086 or email him at daniel.storck@fcps.edu

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: KeepOnTruckin ()
Date: December 02, 2008 05:39PM

Gravis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Genevieve Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > So we are paying $1768 for each gymnast? For
> an
> > extra-curricular activity? Cut away.
>
> what i want to know is how much they are paying
> for microsoft products every year. there are FREE
> alternatives that are better and what i find
> stupid is they keep buying new computers.
> seriously, they dont need anything beyond a 1GHz
> CPU and 512MB of RAM. you can run a nice linux
> desktop and apps with a machine from 1998. they
> dont need machines that run the latest games.

What are the students supposed to do during class if they cant run anything past CounterStrike 1.8?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: They love the gadgets ()
Date: December 03, 2008 10:23PM

FCPS administration and the school board love all the tech gadgets, even though there is ZERO evidence that any of the help educate a child. They love to see shiny new objects in the schools. They think it proves something or other about how good their educational system is.


Gravis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Genevieve Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > So we are paying $1768 for each gymnast? For
> an
> > extra-curricular activity? Cut away.
>
> what i want to know is how much they are paying
> for microsoft products every year. there are FREE
> alternatives that are better and what i find
> stupid is they keep buying new computers.
> seriously, they dont need anything beyond a 1GHz
> CPU and 512MB of RAM. you can run a nice linux
> desktop and apps with a machine from 1998. they
> dont need machines that run the latest games.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Awakened ()
Date: December 04, 2008 06:19AM

Genevieve, Linux is garbage. And for compiling Java (in Computer Science classes) and running CPU-dependent Physics simulations, the computers they have are sufficient. It's not like they're new at all. 2.8GHz Pentium 4s with 1-2GB of RAM on XP. It's not a big purchase.

However, using 22" 1680x1050 10,000:1 Contrast Ratio HDCP-compatible panels JUST for viewing the security cameras (which have barely even 720x480 standard-tv resolution) is nothing but a waste. Those monitors are NOT cheap and are basically HDTVs.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: RESton Peace ()
Date: December 04, 2008 12:20PM

Although I agree with you, Awakened, I must say Genevieve was the wrong "g person" to be replying to... Gravis was the one mouthing off about costs of pc hardware.

In mixed environment of win/lin machines of various sorts, the costs of support can be much higher with *nix-based systems than with Windows (ymmv), so high as to make the initial hardware purchase problematic until support issues have been carefully planned around not just infrastructure, but also a budget. However, it's not even debatable (in my limited view) that Linux and co. have much more scalability out of the box, much more broad community support from actual knowledgeable people, and the benefit of being free to install and ready to modify right down to the core of the kernel to those who have the ability and interest. Windows offers none of that, so I think using it in an comp sci or IT educational environment is a crime. People should be learning about the most effective systems at a given level. The schools should be taking these things into account when planning how to spend IT.. but they have to compromise because we don't live in the magic land of fulfilled dreams.

The way Gravis is proposing to use them is practical if we force kids to use Linux from grade school up, and implement a POS that reflects strong usage of Linux workstations in all aspects of instruction that are appropriate. Otherwise, his plan is not practical when you are teaching an English class in 2008, and you need to be having kids typing reports and stories, and there is not spare time to fit in teaching how to use Linux to some n00b kid.

I guess my point is mix it up... use Linux for real computer learning, and keep the windows boxes for the regular classrooms and writing labs.

I always used to be skeptical about linux, because I am skeptical about ANYTHING that "everyone is into", and in the IT community, the truly respected nerds all claim to be all linuxed up, while the snob nerds claim to run bsd, I was reluctant to ride along on the wagon until I started doing IT projects over the years, and saw inefficiency, waste, and brick walls every time we tried to go to the next level with a windows-based project. Time and again, a Linux solution saved the day.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: BraddockDistrict ()
Date: December 04, 2008 01:42PM

So you suggest that the operating budget is more efficiently utilized by paying overpriced rent on 7 (or it may even by 9) different buildings instead of NOT paying the rent and instead buying the property out of an EDA bond at 2.45% interest when real estate prices have pretty much tanked?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: FairfaxTaxpayer ()
Date: December 04, 2008 10:04PM

I suggest that it's all a ruse. The upcoming budget cuts make it all moot.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Awakened ()
Date: December 06, 2008 12:41PM

.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/2009 09:18PM by Awakened.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: SAVE OUR SCHOOLS ()
Date: December 22, 2008 03:32PM

HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE EDUCATION IN FAIRFAX COUNTY?


Buy a second new administrative building for staff

Invest in new or renovated schools for students


If you said invest in new or renovated schools, then
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)
does not share your priorities.



Thousands of Fairfax County public school students are in trailers and thousands more attend dilapidated FCPS schools. On December 8, 2008, FCPS proposed putting a hold on all projects to relieve overcrowding and renovate old and decaying schools.(1)

At the same time, Superintendent Jack Dale and the School Board are asking our revenue-strapped County and YOU, the taxpayer, to fork over $130 million to move over one thousand FCPS administrators into Gatehouse II -- a newly renovated building with a floor to ceiling granite lobby, a state- of-the-art fitness center, and an on-site cafeteria with outdoor seating.

Despite a unanimous September 2008 vote by the Supervisors to deny Gatehouse II funding, the School Board plans to go back again and beg for more taxpayer funding.(2) Supervisors and County staff told FairfaxCAPS they wanted public feedback on Gatehouse II.



The Board of Supervisors wants to hear from YOU!!!

The Facts:

FCPS projected big savings to get approval for its current, new Administration building. But instead of saving $40 million, it may actually cost us $25 million!(3)


The School Board, potentially facing $300 million or more in reduced funding, is proposing to add 2.5 additional students per class to help balance the school budget.(4)
The total cost to taxpayers (principal and interest) on the bond for Gatehouse II — more than a quarter billion dollars.(5)


All of the negotiations on Gatehouse II have taken place behind closed doors!


The public cannot get key information on Gatehouse II or the business plan.




We ask YOU to join us in being a strong voice advocating for SCHOOLS. Say NO to an unnecessary $130 million bond commitment when more kids are being shoehorned into classrooms and schools, and renovations and programs are being cut — Say NO to backroom deals!



SAY NO TO GATEHOUSE !!




Go to FairfaxCAPS.org for information on how to contact the Board of Supervisors, the School Board, and the media (reference information available on pdf version on website).

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: WEST SPRINGFIELD HS IS DEAD ()
Date: December 23, 2008 01:22PM

West Springfield Not Added to Renovation List
School Board will vote on the final renovation and construction queue Jan. 22.

By Julia O'Donoghue
Saturday, December 20, 2008


Fairfax County Public Schools officials did not recommend the School Board add West Springfield High School s renovation to its list of capital projects despite intense lobbying from the community to do so.

The schools chief operating officer Dean Tistadt said he could not propose putting any more projects in the schools construction queue until he had a better grasp on how the school system would deal with projected enrollment growth.

School projections show that its student population could grow by 14,000 students over the next five years. The schools enrollment has already grown by an unanticipated 5,200 students during the last two years.

TO ACCOMMODATE the increased number of students, Tistadt said Fairfax County would most likely have to enhance its school buildings capacity before addressing renovation projects. The enrollment growth construction could include new wings or additions on existing school buildings.

The increased enrollment is going to challenge us very much, said Tistadt.

The increase in students is in part a result of the downturn in the housing market. Fairfax County Public Schools is not losing as many students as it normally would since fewer families are able to sell their homes and move to larger houses in more affordable localities said Tistadt.

It is not a matter of more kids coming into the school system. What is different is the number of kids leaving, he said.

SOME are not convinced the school system s enrollment projections are accurate.

Until last year, officials had said Fairfax County would see a decline in its student enrollment and a few people wonder whether the school system could predict what would happen with the student population five years from now.

I do question the enrollment increases for the out years, said Springfield District School Board member Liz Bradsher.

We don t agree with the decision to abandon the renovation projects for enrollment projections that may or may not come true, said Erik Hawkins, chairman of SOAR West Springfield, a group advocating for the high school s renovation.

Hawkins attempted to testify earlier in the evening about the issues facing legacy schools, including Herndon, Oakton, Langley, Falls Church and West Springfield high schools, but School Board president Dan Storck (Mount Vernon) cut him off.

The School Board is conducting a public hearing on the capital project queue Jan. 6 and board policy does not allow residents to speak during the School Board s regular meetings about matters for which there is already a scheduled public hearing.

The School Board, which can add schools to the capital project list, will vote on the final renovation and construction queue Jan. 22.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Gateway II Drug ()
Date: January 19, 2009 02:52PM

Fairfax School Board's Gateway drug

By Barbara Hollingsworth
Examiner Columnist | 1/19/09 6:34 AM

Like school systems everywhere, Fairfax County Public Schools must tighten its $2.2 billion budget for the 2009-10 school year. Superintendent Jack Dale has already told teachers not to expect any pay hikes or cost-of-living increases and theatens to cut more than 1,000 jobs.

The girls gymanstics program has been axed and parents are being warned that class sizes will increase next year due to a $170 million budget shortfall that could balloon to $215 million, Dale warns, if the equally cash-strapped Board of Supervisors doesn't give him the 3.5 percent increase he asking for. If FCPS doesn' get the money, more student programs - including indoor track and field, fine arts classes and summer school - will vanish as well.

Yet just three months ago - at the very height of the Wall Street meltdown -the Fairfax School Board voted to spend $130 million (not including $5 million in annual debt service) to buy Gatehouse II,
an office building in Merrifield currently occupied by the Red Cross, to match one it already owns there while thousands of school
children are still being taught in 900 supposedly temporary trailers, some of which are literally falling apart.

The purchase agreement for Gatehouse II - dubbed "the marble palace" by disgusted parents - included $52 million for the 35-year-old building itself, which cost the current owner $44 million two years ago at the height of the real estate bubble. But the whizzes at FCPS are willing to pay $8 million more in a sinking market like a drug addict who doesn't care what the next fix will cost.

Of course, it's not their money - it's yours.

They also agreed to pay an extra $5 million for improvements that have already been made to the property. That's like giving a home seller extra cash at the settlement table for kitchen remodeling they did five years ago! Who does that?

Another $73 million would be spent on extensive renovations that include a health spa and an indoor/outdoor cafeteria for Dale and his staff. The roomy new building would provide more square footage per employee than the federal government, which leases most of its new office space. Nothing but the best for our hard-working school officials.

Dale wants to consolidate 1,750 FCPS employees from 14 sites, including the Devonshire Center in the eastern part of the county. As members of Fairfax CAPS - a citizen group opposed to the purchase - point out, there are several problems with this idea,
one of them being that 92 percent of the affected staff is school-based. That means a substantial increase in travel costs.

How much? Nobody knows - including FCPS. "An analysis of local travel would be very complex and time consuming," Paul Regnier, coordinator of the school system's Office of Community Relations wrote to a citizen requesting this information under the Freedom of Information Act.

"The travel cost savings calculation methodology used in the original business model was developed by staff no longer employed by FCPS," media specialist Mary Shaw wrote on Aug. 27, 2008. "We were unable to locate the work papers that were used for these calculations." This is the administrative equivalent of "the dog ate my homework."

Budget documents show over $1 million in travel expenses for Gatehouse I employees, so the figure for Gatehouse II would probably be in the vicinity. Yet school officials claim buying the Merrifield building "won't cost us a thing."

Regnier also said FCPS didn't even have a copy - "electronically or in any other format" - of the build vs. buy presentation used by the
School Board to make its decision. Ditto for cost/benefit and
investment review analyses. "Staff is aware of only one document that was prepared by the School Board staff," wrote senior assistant county attorney Michael Long in response to a citizen FOIA request;
that one lone document was distributed to supervisors in a Sept. 22, 2008 closed session and therefore "not subject to mandatory provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act," Long explained.

Translation: We're not telling you squat about how we propose to spend $130 million of your money.

The purchase proposal was voted down by the BOS, but Dale and his minions have not given up even though the purchase of Gateway II would add millions to FCPS' annual operating expenditures when the school system is supposed to be trimming costs, not adding them.

The new budget also doesn't include $18 million that would be needed to renovate the Devonshire Center on Graham Road for students now attending the Blue-Ribbon Graham Road Elementary, which was itself recently renovated, or bus expenses for the school's
predominantly low-income students who are now just a five-minute walk away.

"Devonshire is not good enough for administrators, but it's
good enough to put kids in," one disgusted parent told me.

The kicker is that moving the Graham Road students to the Devonshire building would also place them outside of existing school boundaries.

"My 10-year-old granddaughter goes to school in a trailer with no water, no restrooms, mold and rust. She has to walk outside with another 10-year-old for security whenever she needs to use the
bathroom, yet Dale is going to buy himself a Taj Mahal with a health spa so he can get a tan? Let him have the trailers and make him go outside whenever he needs to go to the bathroom," another angry Fairfax County taxpayer told me.

Sounds like an excellent idea.

Barbara F. Hollingsworth is The Examiner's local opinion editor. She can be reached by email at: bhollingsworth@dcexaminer.com

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: tubby ()
Date: January 19, 2009 04:16PM

LOL, this moron doesn't even know it's GateHOUSE II

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: OMG ()
Date: January 19, 2009 09:22PM

Did ja know they are wasting money on a new television truck too? You should see the schools systems state of the art TV studio in Annandale. CNN is getting jealous. Keep in mind this is not the county's TV studio this is just for the school systems ch 21. No students have access to this studio.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: edna ()
Date: January 19, 2009 10:00PM

Has anyone seen Barbara Hollingsworth article in the DC Examiner?

http://www.dcexaminer.com/opinion/columns/BarbaraHollingsworth/Fairfax_School_Boards_Gateway_drug_101909.html#comments

Let your voices be heard in the comment section below the article.

I find it totally unacceptable for the FCSB to say they are cutting cost...and "oh by the way," class size will be increased and important programs will be slashed.

But don't touch our little pot of $$$$ because we have so many administrators we have to have a new building. Get real. When people are losing their homes, their jobs, their cars, their health insurance and this Board wants a new administration building? Where are their ethics and moral judgments?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: Why would they care? ()
Date: January 19, 2009 11:38PM

They get their big, fancy, buildings, while kids go to schools where the ceilings are falling in. Why would they care? The board will give FCPS all the money they want, and allow them to spend it any way they want. Why not?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: They do not care ()
Date: January 20, 2009 06:50AM

Why would they care? Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> They get their big, fancy, buildings, while kids
> go to schools where the ceilings are falling in.
> Why would they care? The board will give FCPS all
> the money they want, and allow them to spend it
> any way they want. Why not?

You are right. They do not care about the students in the FCPS system and they will never care about them. They just care about themselves and what is good for them.

That is why they need to be replaced at the next election. We need to elect SB members who can manage and who care about what is right for the students.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: FCPS Wasting even More Money -- When will they ever learn?
Posted by: taxpayer ()
Date: January 20, 2009 08:43AM

They do not care Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Why would they care? Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > They get their big, fancy, buildings, while
> kids
> > go to schools where the ceilings are falling in.
>
> > Why would they care? The board will give FCPS
> all
> > the money they want, and allow them to spend it
> > any way they want. Why not?
>
> You are right. They do not care about the students
> in the FCPS system and they will never care about
> them. They just care about themselves and what is
> good for them.
>
> That is why they need to be replaced at the next
> election. We need to elect SB members who can
> manage and who care about what is right for the
> students.


They don't care about the teachers either. With all the money spent the schools are crap. That South Lakes boundary process excluding Langley and Herndon plus South County , the costs of IB-FLES etc , are garbage that would not be happening in smaller districts. What person in their right mind or with any degree of integrity would bus kids from near Herndon HS to Langley? This SB and administration also had the audacity to question the correctness and application of administrative boundary changes. Domenech made them but Dale is too big of a tool. That creepy Phil wants to close graahm Rd. I guess connelly wants the office building in merrifield purchased.

Options: ReplyQuote


Your Name: 
Your Email (Optional): 
Subject: 
Attach a file
  • No file can be larger than 75 MB
  • All files together cannot be larger than 300 MB
  • 30 more file(s) can be attached to this message
Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically.
 **    **  **     **  **        **    **  **        
 **   **   ***   ***  **        **   **   **    **  
 **  **    **** ****  **        **  **    **    **  
 *****     ** *** **  **        *****     **    **  
 **  **    **     **  **        **  **    ********* 
 **   **   **     **  **        **   **         **  
 **    **  **     **  ********  **    **        **  
This forum powered by Phorum.