by Dan Press (cross posted with permission)
Thanks to our Fairfax County school board. They are still at work after 1:00 am dealing with the budget. They were forced to make painful, harmful cuts by the cowardly refusal of the Board of Supervisors to raise the necessary taxes to fully fund the schools. Shame on the Board of Supervisors – all of them, Democrat and Republican, except for Dan Storck and Kathy Smith. We need to remember this in June and November 2019. This county needs new progressive leaders who will support education and do what is necessary to fund it.
And people, please don’t blame the school board. They are doing their best with a literally impossible situation. Thank you Pat Hynes, Ilryong Moon, Ryan McElveen, Dalia Palchik, Karen Corbett Sanders, Tamara Derenak Kaufax, Sandy Evans, Megan McLaughlin, and Jane Strauss, and even some of the Republican members, who have all struggled mightily with this situation.
I think it’s time to get the courts involved. This budget forced by the Board of Supervisors and the General Assembly in Richmond violates Article VIII of the Constitution of Virginia in that it fails to “ensure that an educational program of high quality is established and continually maintained.” The failure of the Board of Supervisors to “provide its portion of such cost by local taxes or from other available funds” is not only unconscionable, but unconstitutional. Both the State and Board of Supervisors are acting illegally by not providing sufficient funding. This needs to change.