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Afternoon Poll: Where Should FCPS Make Cuts?

by Karen Goff — June 17, 2015 at 2:00 pm 34 Comments

South Lakes High School Fairfax County Public Schools are facing a potential $100 million shortfall for 2016-17, and Superintendent Karen Garza has organized a Budget Task Force to look at cost-cutting measures.

FCPS is also seeking citizen input. Citizen suggestions have ranged from cutting varsity sports to paying for Advanced Placement tests to doing away with center-based Advanced Academics.

Reston Now organized some suggestions based on general themes from citizen input (and not due to any scientific examination of FCPS’ financial statements).

Which areas do you think could be better financially managed? Cast a vote and tell us in the comments.

  • Guy Montag

    How about “Cut ESOL” or make parents pay for “ESOL”. I fail to see why the advanced academic students should be held back so Jose and Consuela can have their English tutors on the tax payer dime.

    The Advanced Academic students and AP students will go on to do great things. Jose will be at the Home Depot waiting for someone to say trabajar aquí

    • pleasebekidding

      This is so incredibly offensive. So one is only able or allowed to be successful if the have a “normal” name and were born into an english speaking family?

  • Hopey Changey

    ya, this voting format is about as effective as https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/
    They will ignore the highest voted ideas and do what they want anyway.

  • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

    Get rid of ESOL .

    • Meh

      Don’t believe the lies. Standard curly turd partier tactique to brain wash the masses and influence 2016. Listen to the expert.

      • meh

        ESOL should be paid fully by the families that require it. Libs like you want the tax payers to pay for your voter base being able to read the ballot.

        • pleasebekidding

          When did immigration in this country become a bad thing? People from all over the world have made their way to the United States to chase the American dream and our education system is part of that…with the understanding that we’d help them get on their feet, or at least get a better grasp of the language.

          And then we have disillusioned people that believe that all liberals want immigration simply to tip the scales and sway the vote? How does that not sound made up to you? Such nonsense, it’s laughable.

          • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

            Legal immigration is not a bad thing. Illegal is the key word in this discussion.

          • pleasebekidding

            “Legal” and “illegal” weren’t mentioned once here. Their are plenty of legal immigrants that take advantage of ESOL and it’s purely hate that fills these comments to nix the program.

          • Greg

            Speaking of blind…

            Clearly: FTB wrote: “Illegal immigrants are the problem.”

            and:

            “English as a second language programs are needed for LEGAL immigrants.”

            #smh

          • pleasebekidding

            Are you quoting the comment I responded to? The one where that was the first time anyone mentioned illegal or illegal in this comment string, hence my response?

            That’s not how this works…You can’t call me blind when I responded to the exact same comment!

            Or as you’d say… #smh

          • Ming the Merciless

            It is not our job or obligation to help the world to come here “to chase the dream” at our expense. The millions of people who came here in the 19th century did NOT expect, or get, “help” from the government.

            Immigration – of the right type of people in moderate numbers – is not a problem.

            Immigration of too many people of any kind is a disaster.

          • pleasebekidding

            And I fundamentally disagree that their is bad immigration. If everyone had an easier chance to join the system and pay taxes, we wouldn’t be around. Therein lies the origin of the discussion. We shall decide at the polls.

  • stopaskingmetopayforyourkid

    Seriously? Raising taxes is not the answer. Wait, maybe those whose children attend need to pay thier kids way, since they are most certainly not the tax payers responsibilty.

    • pleasebekidding

      Did you go to public schools? If you did, why not just consider your taxes as paying for the education you were already able to take advantage of?

      • Greg

        Paying taxes is not the issue. Raising them every year far more than the cost of inflation, is the issue. Stated cogently in five words above.

        Less contortion and more facts.

        #smh (again).

        • pleasebekidding

          I didn’t state a fact to contort information, I simply asked a question.

      • Ming the Merciless

        His education, if he went to public schools, was paid for by his parents property taxes back then. His taxes now don’t pay for his education.

  • Mookie Taylor

    I think a combination of these things should be done. I was at UCSD when California was having rolling blackouts because of energy shortages. People were asked to turn off their lights and computers at night, and half the lights were turned off in the halls during the day. They reduced energy bills by 20% which ended up saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are probably lots of similar ways FCPS could save money without hurting students.
    I don’t know what the administration is like at FCPS, but if it is like other school systems, they have too many and they make too much money. I also think it is reasonable for parents to pay for special tests like AP. It will be saving them college expenses, after all, and if they think it won’t, then nobody’s money will be wasted to have someone not pass the test. Having fundraisers to help pay for sports would be good too.
    If the school population has grown, then raising property taxes makes sense. Having wellf-funded, well-rounded education is the best way to reduce later costs associated with unemployment, medicaid, etc.

    Anyone who thinks ESOL should be cut is clearly so blinded by hate that they can’t see the obvious folly of that.

    • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

      No, I am not blinded by hate. Illegal immigrants are the problem. This country, as we all know, was built on immigration. We need to know how many people are coming so our communities can plan and welcome them appropriately When they flood in illegally, its not fair to those who did come legally, and to those of us who were born here. The law breakers should not be free to use our schools, hospitals, courts etc, while those here legally suffer under the burdens of over crowded schools, courts, and hospitals.

      English as a second language programs are needed for LEGAL immigrants. But the size of the programs would probably be cut by 75% if we did not admit illegals. Why is it that the demands/needs of the illegals are taken seriously but cries for relief from the burden of illegal immigration result in claims of racism and hate? We are a nation of citizens, not a nation of immigrants. I am sick of Americans being treated as second class citizens while the illegal immigrants are rewarded.

    • Greg

      “I don’t know what the administration is like at FCPS…”

      Since your always more, but never enough according to Cathy Hudgins, tax dollars, among other things, are paying for it, you should find out. But, we can confirm, your assertion is accurate: FCPS administration is bloated, redundant and less and less effective year after year.

      And, of course, everyone, regardless of where they were educated, knows that turning off lights during the day or when not needed saves a lot of money.

      It’s quite remarkable that those who cannot speak English are never challenged to use and benefit from tax-funded services. Not speaking English seems to be no hinderance for which we should spend our taxes to mitigate. #nohate.

  • Greg

    How about consolidating bus services? We have at least three of them in Fairfax County with many of them nearly empty most of the time.

    My sister’s school system eliminated ALL school buses and parents have to get their kids to school.

    • Cluster Tycoon

      No s* ! I walked to high school, 45 minutes one way. I could have taken a bus but did not. I could have taken a ride but did not. The result? I got there and I made it home. That’s all what matters. Kids today lack energy. If you have any left wiki this guy: Haile Gebrselassie. You will notice there is no need for school busses. Besides, many of these busses are poorly maintained and grossly pollute the.environment.

      • Greg

        And, I bet you were fit. No need for any PE when one walks to school!

  • Greg

    Also, for the vast majority, taxes have already been raised based on increased property values.

  • Cluster Tycoon

    Arthur Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, said he thinks the school system’s millions of dollars in leftover cash are a symptom of a larger problem. He said the extra money, when combined with tens of millions of dollars in reserves and other “extraneous” items, suggests significant “padding” in the annual budget.

    Got astroturf?

  • shagga

    lets look on the bright side of unregulated immigration.

    • .
      • shagga

        . ?

        • shagga

          Hooters?

  • Pat K

    No offense to well intended admins but the Instructional Coaches are not really necessary. They spend a whole lot of time not being terribly useful. Coming up with a list of helpful websites for a teacher to use does not require a separate job title or position. I know several coaches who all say that the requirement that they spend 1/3 of their time on attendance at educational meetings is in fact a get way for them to get away from the “kiddies”. In fact several have told me that getting recommended for the coaching position only required that they do the administrators’ bidding in some way including helping “throw another teacher who was not liked by admin under the bus”

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