It is time for those of us who live and work in the 21st Century to oppose those who seem determined to support an unsustainable outdated and costly school system born in the 1950’s and nurtured by discrimination, elitism and narrow thinking! Ira Kaylin has written articles addressing this very issue. They are so clearly stated that even I understand the financial issues he cited. Compare this to the information by proponents of the referendum and see how their “facts” are exaggerated , vague and at best misleading! Example–a stated tax reduction– when is the last time we saw a reduction in any taxes? We are asked to “Take a leap of faith.” For a 120 million dollar project?
The amount of potential increase would be catastrophic for those on fixed incomes. Through continuous polling (hard copy and electronic) 2/3rds of the respondents state a new school building is too expensive for most citizens to finance. We are paying $4,000 more per student than Fairfax County and $5,000 more than the average statewide. The complications increase when numerous citizens are not fully engaged because of work, personal issues or unawareness of the significant hardships of a YES vote places on all citizens. These life style choices should not be exploited by select groups!
Reputable people familiar with financial projections clearly state it would take several times the acreage available for commercial businesses to raise enough revenue to support the building and maintenance of a new high school. How much commercial office space in Falls Church and Tysons Corner is empty? Why should vendors move into the planned space in this project and not the spaces already available? If the school continues to devour a larger share of the pie (76% of the budget) then what happens to the rest of the city’s structure?
Education is invaluable however, there should be a limit to how much residents are required to pay for this necessity of life especially when other means are available. Are we cash cows for the school? No progressive thinking citizen favors substandard education however, other options are available and should be investigated as to how they would fit into our city’s planning. School systems across the country are facing the same issues and have taken positive steps by combining with neighboring districts to insure continued effective and timely development of their schools, communities and students.
Aware and competent people see problems developing and plan/organize actions so the option(s) are manageable rather than restrictive. This issue can be an emotional issue BUT, cannot and should not be addressed as such! A city’s officials should represent their citizens’ concerns with equal consideration and focus for fiscal responsibility regardless of their personal views. Our leaders need to affect changes that will secure this city’s operational and financial futures and to better prepare our citizens and students for the challenges and diversity of the present and future!
Willing to change directions is a sign of strength, character and progressive thinking which would enhance and smooth the inevitable process of joining a program that embraces the 21st Century’s challenges and opportunities of the local, national and global environments the students will personally and professionally face in their future lives. This should be done while we make the choice not one that is forced on the city.
Vote –NO–for this referendum on 7 Nov.