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    Chairman York: Supervisors won’t grant Loudoun County schools full funding

    Loudoun County Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) tonight told School Board members the Board of Supervisors won't grant Loudoun County Public Schools full funding for the school system's adopted fiscal 2015 budget.

    While not necessarily a surprise, Mr. York's statement during tonight's joint meeting of the two boards was the strongest public pronouncement yet that the School Board will need to find cuts within its nearly $949 million budget for the coming year. Currently, the gap between the LCPS adopted budget and the anticipated county allocation is just less than $40 million.

    Members of the Board of Supervisors and School Board will meet again the first week of March to further discuss their respective spending plans.

    Supervisors are expected to finalize the county's fiscal 2015 budget in early April.

    Latest: More distressing budget news for Loudoun County Public Schools

    Related coverage:

    -School Board lashes out after unorthodox supervisor request for ‘chop list’
    -Modest tax hike? It’s possible, say supervisors

    Top / Government / Education /

    more cowbell…...yep they are bussed to Middleburg already, but they’ll be bussed much farther but that’s okay with you because it isn’t your kid on the bus all that time.  I really wish you’d run for the school board or BOS because you always have ALL the answers to every problem.  We’d certainly be so much better off with you in charge…..or are you all talk and no action?  Have you stepped up for any commissions or committees?

    don’t tread on me…..not as bad analogy as you say.  After all when cars first came out they had their share of problems and the horses were indeed faster and more reliable.  Sounds like if something doesn’t work immediately to your expectation its junk….sound like an impatient child.

    @Frank Grimes, It’s funny how those that claim to support schools volunteer the least amount of their time to LCPS, pay the least amount in taxes(but probably have 3+ kids in LCPS) and lived the least amount in Loudoun county.

    @Bill Fox, I just read where you were on the Middleburg charter committee and it stated only 45 students enrolled, that’s 15 short of what you stated in your post. How can we trust the school board when their members flat out lie????

    @enuf, They’re already being bused to Middleburg so how is that going to cost much more. And I could do a much better job with the budget because those schools would have been closed years ago. It never made sense financially to keep them open.

    Its funny how you claim to support schools then you must be a lazy government worker.

    You know who else has the same disdain for teachers and government workers, Sarah Palin.  So your in good company Everett.  She lives in a fantasy land just like you.

    In response to ‘enuf’s’ comment…

    “As for the remark about “I didn’t have white boards, blah blah blah”.  How childish is that argument…the world is not standing still just because you want it to.  You have to adjust…maybe you shouldn’t be driving a car because after all your great-grandparents got from one place to another just fine by riding a horse or walking.”

    Your analogy with cars, horses, and walking is terrible. A horse is faster than walking. A car is faster than a horse. Show me a study that shows interactive white boards result in kids learning more.

    Interactive white boards, tablets, new text books every year… Face it. Those are all luxuries. “Just because Fairfax is doing it” doesn’t mean Loudoun has to, too. Why does everyone always want to compare Loudoun with its neighbors to the east? We have neighbors to the west, too. Do you have any idea how many classrooms across America don’t have interactive white boards and still manage to educate kids successfully? The rampant keeping up with the Jonses mentality is what leads to bring broke. Kids could learn just as much with a chalkboard and decades-old textbooks (except for history textbooks, which for obvious reasons should be up-to-date).

    Not fully funding the school board’s adopted budget is nothing new.  It seems like it happens every year and many of the reductions have been drastic.  In FY09, the BOS reduced the school board’s requested budget by $48 million, but their budget still increased by $55 million over FY08! 

    It’s a similar situation this year with the school board asking for $106 million more than FY14.  The BOS is already proposing an increase of $67 million, or 8%, at the equalized tax rate for an enrollment increase of just 3.4%.  I wouldn’t exactly consider that underfunding the schools!

    Closing those “small” schools isn’t going to save you all that money folks….you’re going to have to bus those kids and you’re closing the schools that are actually paid off.  You know those schools were built to educate the kids in the area long ago…it’s not like they were built after the fact to appease a few families.  Stop griping at the families whose kids go there.  And nice sidestepping about taking Fox up on his offer to let you solve all our problems.

    I agree with no more residential rezonings…we’ve been asking for this for years from the BOS (past and will most likely in the future).  No increase in residential units and not changing commercial to residential….for YEARS.  The Polen board has totally jacked us up as we now suffer for all the rezonings granted back then as rezonings don’t expire.

    So the school district is left with a mess and the only folks you are mad at is the school district? 

    As for the remark about “I didn’t have white boards, blah blah blah”.  How childish is that argument…the world is not standing still just because you want it to.  You have to adjust…maybe you shouldn’t be driving a car because after all your great-grandparents got from one place to another just fine by riding a horse or walking.

    As for combing units with the county government…gee that worked real well with the land deal for Lansdowne didn’t it…overpaid and the school is costing a mint to build.

    The most disappointing part of all this is that York made up his mind already and that’s not fair to the county or the kids.  You are elected to listen and then decide….not decide and pretend to listen.  I liked you better years back when you cared under the Tulloch/Snow years….

    So Miller knows what’s good for us tax wise and what’s good for the school system as well. We the taxpayer don’t know how the system works according to Stevens. Lovely! Maybe being a know it all was part of the reason his political efforts failed.
    Save us all like the senior comment line that cost how much per comment, yikes!

    “Both (Grimes and Miller) jobs are on the line and so are there[sic] raises.”

    I’m a self-employed attorney and litigation consultant. Given how I approached the school budget when I was on the board of supervisors, I wouldn’t expect to be working in the LCPS administration building anytime soon.

    Your points all just don’t work. There are ways to save money in the schools and I suggested them for four straight years. But you need to learn more about where the money goes and how public education is governed in Virginia before you start claiming to have solutions of your own.

    Would this be the proper time to bring to your attention that Comstock wants Loudoun to spend 74 million on full day kindergarten.
    Isn’t the headline misleading and shouldn’t it say that the BoS will not fund the increase in the school budget in full that Dr. Hatrick has “asked” for.
    No 3.7% increase in teacher pay boys!

    I am starting to think that Miller & Grimes both work at the Taj Mahal in Ashburn, VA. Why else would someone want full funding and pay $6,000 in taxes on a modest townhome ?

    I will stand behind my 5 points below to cut spending. Don’t call it a tax then to charge $1,000 kid , call it a fee as Cowbell stated. Makes sense…pay to play metality. More kids you have in school…pay your fair share.

    Grimes I won’t move to W. VA as I am on a 15 year loan on my house and more than half way done. Maybe you should leave your non existent private sector job and move to Montgomery County, MD or better yet California (they are both tax and spend- you would fit in perfectly).

    Both (Grimes and Miller) jobs are on the line and so are there raises. I am fairly certain someone would be willing to do your jobs at the Taj Mahal for 20% less. There are SO many college graduates (some with MBAs) without jobs. $160K would be great for someone right out of school.

    @Bill Fox, You’re the problem when you don’t make any cuts.

    Why close such a small school when it will only save us a $100K, why cut out 3 dean positions per MS since it will only save us $500k, why build bigger HS since it will only save us a $100 million. Why put smart boards in every classroom? why are buses half full? why isn’t the school outsourcing certain jobs?

    I got the 35 number from another article, even at 60, it’s not worth keeping the school open.
    So, it’s better for 35-60 parents vs the rest of Loudoun taxpayers?
    I’m all for teachers getting a raise, and police and fire and even some county employees. But you have to make some cuts.

    Bill, how about combining planning committee with Loudoun county govt….Oh and the rate, $1.50, will be for next year since there was a story about LCPS getting $30 million less from Richmond.

    The sky has been falling in Loudoun for about 10-15 years and of course you all like to market out to the parents how the kids will fail because LCPS don’t get a blank check from BOS.

    At least Bob O(past school board member) gave the appearance that there were cuts to be made. You all cave in to Dr Hatrick.

    Cowbell - you keep coming back to the small schools, as if closure would somehow solve our funding problems.  Middleburg Elementary(which has 60 enrolled students, BTW, not 35) will have the same cost per pupil next year as any other school in Loudoun as they will likely convert to a charter school.  Hillsboro is right behind them. Lincoln and Aldie are at capacity and have above-average class sizes.  What schools, precisely, are you targeting for all of these savings? Also, where are you getting a tax rate of “around $1.50.”  I’m not sure I’ve heard that number floated by anyone before. Unless I’m mistaken, the conversation is really focused on a tax rate somewhere between the current rate and an equalized rate.

    Its totally legitimate for taxpayers to point to services that are being provided by LCPS which they believe are unnecessary or extravagant, and request that we no longer provide those services.  It is also legitimate for taxpayers to request that taxes, or at least tax rates, be lowered by the BOS.  I welcome all such input and have read everyone of the hundreds of emails I’ve received on the budget.  I can tell you that so far, the input has been overwhelmingly one-sided.  But I would be more than happy to sit down with you, with a copy of the budget, and we can discuss some of the things that can and cannot be cut, as well as the associated savings.

    I haven’t said anything about smaller schools.

    I opposed spending money on so many whiteboards.

    @Steven, you call it a tax instead of fee per kid. Kind of like ACA bill. Public school in Loudoun is anything but free.

    @Frank, why don’t you move to DC or Arlington since they spend more per kid…Isn’t that what you want? I’m sure I’ve lived in Loudoun longer than you have…..

    Again, you two believe keeping small schools open is worth the cost?

    @Steven & Frank, bad news, LCPS just found out they’re going to get even less money from the state, about 30-35 million less. Perhaps it’s time to start charging the elderly, no free rides on personal property taxes, even if you’ve lived here 20+ years. It’s too bad our Northern va reps can’t do a better job of bringing more tax money back to our area.

    So, Steven, you’re ok keeping open these small school of 35 kids… I wonder what their teacher to kid ratio is per grade level? Frank, you probably could give out that info…..

    I haven’t seen either of you mention any cuts? Maybe we should just cut 1 school day out each week….

    My employer has yet to give me an extra $50K just because I want a few bigger tvs in my house, new car and take more expensive vacations.

    So the two of you are ok with a tax rate around $1.50 to fund everything and then some.

    Both the BOS(current and past) and school board members(current and past) have failed the loudoun taxpayers by not doing a better job of planning or wasting money on stupid things like smart boards in every classroom…

    “1) If you live within 1 mile of your school…WALK ! no bus service for those kids.”

    Lots of kids close to schools do walk. Others are riding buses that have to drive past them and back again to reach the kids farther out. No savings here.

    “2) Build Up. When a parcel of land is purchased make the buildings 3 stories high at least. I feel that every couple years the County has to buy parcels of land (not cheap).”

    If the buildings were 100 stories tall, and 50 feet on each side, the total land LCPS needs would hardly change, as most of it is for parking and athletic fields. No savings here.

    “3) Cut administrator salaries by 20% (i.e. those that work at the Taj Mahal in Ashburn).”

    Hmmm… might as well be 100%, since they’d all quit. We’d have to replace them and, to be competitive, we’d have to pay what neighboring counties pay. Even if they took 10% cuts, there aren’t as many of them as you may think. Vast majority of LCPS staff works in the schools. No savings here.

    “4) Until this school funding crisis is over or subsides…how about reducing or eliminating new residential development?”

    Love to. Without legislative authority to pass something like an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, however, this isn’t legal in Virginia. No savings here.

    “5)I am on the fence on this, but perhaps a LOWER real estate tax rate for ALL, and then those that have kids in the school system charge a fee (i.e. $1,000 per year each kid).”

    Article VIII, Section 1 of the Virginia constitution requires that elementary and secondary public schools be free of charge. No savings here.

    What else you got?

    So Everetts solution for PUBLIC schools is to make them PRIVATE and Charge people????

    And his classic idea of bigger schools so there can be more traffic jams in Loudoun.

    Shouldnt you and cowbell be talking about how much you bench and less about your awful SimCity school funding ideas.

    Move to West Virginia Smarty with your non-existant lady friend.

    I did not know such small schools existed. If that is the case they should close and transfer to another school.

    A few more ideas (as I have mentioned before):

    1) If you live within 1 mile of your school…WALK ! no bus service for those kids.

    2) Build Up. When a parcel of land is purchased make the buildings 3 stories high at least. I feel that every couple years the County has to buy parcels of land (not cheap).

    3) Cut administrator salaries by 20% (i.e. those that work at the Taj Mahal in Ashburn).

    4) Until this school funding crisis is over or subsides…how about reducing or eliminating new residential development?

    5)I am on the fence on this, but perhaps a LOWER real estate tax rate for ALL, and then those that have kids in the school system charge a fee (i.e. $1,000 per year each kid).

    Every Year Dr Hatrick asks for $75 million more then previous year, then BOS gives them $50 million, when they only need $25 million. I can’t recall the last year where School Board, Dr Hatrick and BOS never argued over school budget. Been this way for at least 10+ years(20+ year resident).

    I will pull a Frank Grimes and tell all the posters, that if you want full funding move to DC….They seem to give more money per kid and look how that’s working out? LCPS are fine. The sky isn’t falling. Why hasn’t the school board closed down these small schools(only 35 kids in 1 middleburg school)?

    More money does not equal better education. If it did, then DC would have the best schools in the nation since they spend more per student than anywhere else.

    I grew up without interactive white boards, classroom tablets, the latest textbooks, etc. and I still went to college and got a successful career.

    Didn’t Hatrick request as INCREASE of approx $100 million versus last year?  But then again, LTM will still call this a “cut”.

    Funny, I know many politicians that vote and put out lame bills that the majority of their constituents don’t approve/agree… Anyhow, time for Dr Hatrck and School Board to close down small schools in Loudoun, think about combining planning group with Loudoung govt(really no loss if Sam is shown the door), start thinking about building bigger HS, time to remove extra overhead like 3 Deans at each MS, and outsource some positions. The school Board appears to be MIA.

    The Board of Supervisors appeared arrogant and not interested in education of students in Loudoun Co.  They appeared to be more interested in satisfying Tea Party interests of undermining important public functions like public schools.  They asked for priorities and that’s what the school board gave them. 

    If Loudoun Co schools are to remain great, we have to stop kicking the can down the road.  Fund our Schools!  Our future depends on it.

    Good for Scott! Someone should step up these leeches (AKA school board).

    Scott, you are making a mistake!

    The BoS members appeared to have not researched the issue prior to the meeting and did not know what their constituents thought. And then Chairman York stated that the BoS would not be approving the budget. They haven’t even discussed it with their constituents or the school board or researched the budget yet - how can they determine that it isn’t a good budget without giving due diligence?

    The budget process is the Super Bowl of county governing and the BoS appears to have no interest in making an educated decision about one of the biggest components of the budget.

    How about a chained inflation rate raise like others have had to bear. I saw the presentation last night and for every masters degree that’s getting underpaid I bet there are plenty who are overpaid.

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