Thursday, October 18, 2012
Board’s practice of setting limits on budget proposals is a relatively recent development.
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York made a good point on Oct. 3 when the board was discussing the fiscal guidance it would give the county administrator and school system regarding the development of the budget for Fiscal Year 2014. Earlier in the discussion, Blue Ridge District Supervisor Janet Clarke prefaced her remarks by saying, “I appreciate the fact that we have to go through this exercise every budget season.” By “appreciate,” I assume she meant that she understood that the fiscal guidance was a necessary first step in the process. But it really isn’t necessary. In fact, the board hasn’t always kicked off the budget process by delivering fiscal guidance. This is a relatively new phenomenon. When York’s turn came…
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Supervisors bypass School Board to challenge school administrators to find cost savings.
One of my favorite moments of this baseball season occurred when Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels and Nats rookie Bryce Harper faced one another for the first time in the Major Leagues. In that first at bat, Hamels plunked Harper in the back. Hamels later admitted that he was sending Harper a message: “Welcome to the big leagues, Kid.” Then, Harper responded in the best possible way, with a message of his own. After advancing to third base on a single, he pulled off one of the rarest and most thrilling feats in baseball – he stole home. Harper’s message for Hamels: “Mess with me and I’ll make you pay.” Messages sent and received. I remember when sending messages weren’t just about testosterone and macho posturing. Sending a …
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
State funding has been requested for $3.5 million that is needed to fund retirement benefits by June.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Leesburg’s mayor puts serving her constituents ahead of prevailing on the issues.
I recently read a very unusual email. It had come from the desk of Leesburg Mayor Kristen C. Umstattd. The email was sent to a resident who lives close to the proposed access road that would connect the Linden Hill neighborhood to Country Club Drive. The recipient is one of the residents who has the biggest stake in this issue. Like many other Country Club residents, she opposes the access road. After addressing the resident by name, Umstattd’s email went like this: “Although we don't agree on the Linden Hill Access Road, I felt you should know that at tonight's town council worksession, a council member stated his intention to make a motion at tomorrow night’s council meeting to remove the Linden Hill access road from the town's CIP (…
Friday, March 23, 2012
A live discussion about the ongoing debate before the school board about whether seat belts should be required.
Next week, the School Board is scheduled to discuss the issue of school bus seat belts in Loudoun County. On March 20, Leesburg Patch posted an article that included comments from the school board as well as a local bus driver. The story initially peaked interest with Patch readers back on March 13 following an article that was posted on Leesburg Today. A poll was taken regarding the board's idea of seat belt removal and at least 75 readers commented or participated in the poll. Today, we are here to discuss the seat belt issue live. Please feel free to send your comments in beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The Loudoun County School Board will discuss the possibility of no longer installing seat belts in school buses since many students don't wear them at all.
The Loudoun County School Board will meet next Tuesday to discuss the issue of school bus seat belts and whether or not they should continue being installed in the near future. The Health, Safety and Wellness Committee recently recommended that the school board no longer install the belts, which, if approved, could save as much as $500,000. However, School Board Member Tom Reed (At Large) said last week that it’s not about the money. “One of the things I want to be clear about is we’re making an operation decision that has budgetary impacts. The cost of this is secondary,” Reed said. The major factor is that students don’t wear the seat belts, which ends up being a waste of money. “Studies show that there is no increase in student safety …
Friday, March 9, 2012
As supervisors seek deeper budget cuts, school board members make their case.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Revisiting the budget without advance notice shows lack of consideration – and experience.
Every four years, there is the potential for sweeping change on the Loudoun County School Board and Board of Supervisors, since all seats are up for election at the same time. As it happened, both boards experienced such change in the 2011 election, with only three incumbents returning to the school board, and only two to the board of supervisors. In its Feb. 14 meeting, the school board unwittingly made a good case for staggered terms. The six new members of the school board all ran as reformers, committed to taking a hard look at school expenditures and holding the line on spending. There’s nothing wrong with that. But there are right ways and wrong ways to enact reforms. What the school board majority did on Valentine’s Night – at least…
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The Loudoun County School Board heard from more than 30 teachers, students and parents on Tuesday regarding recent budget cuts for the FLES program.
Elementary students in Loudoun County may have to wait when it comes to learning a second language. The Loudoun Times reported Wednesday that more than 30 teachers, students and parents confronted the school board Tuesday night regarding a recent budget cut that would alter the Foreign Language Elementary School program (FLES). It was altered to meet once a week, beginning in grade 4. The cost-cutting move could save $2.6 million and cost 35 current full-time employees their jobs. Many speakers argued that the program helps to promote better student performance growth. Board members were asked to save the FLES program for next year. “Loudoun County schools, the ones that actually [are] exposed [to the] FLES have shown progressive …
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
The Loudoun County School Board hear from over 80 people, on Monday, regarding their concerns over the potential loss of benefits.
More than 80 people signed up to speak in front of the Loudoun County School Board, on Monday, in regards to part-time employment benefits that are currently in question. According to an article on the Loudoun Times, school board members have recently discussed cutting the benefits of part-time workers who put in 3.5-to-7 hours a day. As a result, hundreds of drivers, both full-and part-time, attended Monday's meeting dressed in black and red to show their frustration. Everyone seemed to share the same sentiment over the potential loss of benefits, which many drivers said was the main reason they have taken jobs as drivers. “Let’s keep in mind that the majority in this room are the people. In this world there are needs and wants. Benefits …