When I read this I thought it was a Tea Party type posting that I happened to agree with:
Back to School Political Videos
I’m a huge fan of Fairfax County Public Schools. All four of my children participate in FCPS at various levels, and I’m always impressed by the level of intelligence, care and professionalism shown by FCPS teachers and staff. Thank you for doing what you do.
So that’s the context for the following. Tonight was my son’s Back to School night (he’s in fifth grade). The evening opened with the usual mob of parents flooding into the classrooms. In our case, our child is in a modular building, which is actually pretty nice.
At the outset of the presentation, the teacher played two videos. The first was from the principal welcoming us to the school. The second was from FCPS, providing various funding facts, concluding that critical programs would soon be cut, and asking parents “lobby their state and local lawmakers” for more funding.
The video’s facts were highly selective. It could have just have easily mentioned that Fairfax County has received more than $100 million in extra state funding since 2012 (the biggest increase in Virginia) and the School Board recently voted itself a 60% pay increase. Or it could state that Fairfax County students are the highest achieving students in the USA.
But instead we got the hear the usual “we don’t have enough money” rap.
I sympathize with flat teacher salaries, especially for the best performing teachers who leave Fairfax to go elsewhere. Heck yes, they deserve more. But you can’t just increase spending across the board. You need to improve the product. (For example, by extending the school year).
Regardless, forcing a captive audience of parents to watch a five-minute political commercial before meeting their kid’s teacher is not the answer. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
It’s a sign that FCPS is more concerned with promoting its agenda, rather than educating kids with the available resources. And I know that’s not the case.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the Senator Chap Petersen wrote it – I went to his Senator FB page and to his blog and it is at both places. I would add: Senator Petersen could do something about it. This kind of lobbying by school officials goes on all the time. Let’s just say I’ve seen it in action: Administrators contact say PTA officers and say – go to the budget meeting and support the superintendent’s budget. I think it should be illegal or a fireable offense for this sort of thing to be done. Servants of the taxpayer ought not lobby for more taxpayers’ funds on OUR time and with OUR dime. Will anyone on the Fairfax County School Board bring this up at the next meeting? How much in taxpayers ‘ money was spent on this video? Was the teacher’s “union” involved in it? Inquiring minds want to know. I bet I’ll hear crickets…
This kind of brave posting is why Senator Petersen is still my favorite Democratic office-holder. He is surely somewhat liberal of course. (And yes I have disagreed with Chap, too! He’s for Medicaid expansion for example.) But Petersen beats to his own drum and tries to solve problems rather than create them or be blindly ideological. Rah for Chap for this post but my Rah is tempered by the fact he ought to stop it – and he can – he’s a state senator.
Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders