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Loudoun is the fastest-growing county in Virginia ... again

Surprised? Didn't think so.

Loudoun County is again the fastest-growing in Virginia, according to research released today from the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

Loudoun was home to 374,471 residents as of July 2015, UVA's research states. That figure is up nearly 20 percent from the 2010 census that counted the population at 312,311.

An analysis from one of the study's researchers, Hamilton Lombard, notes:
Loudoun County, in Northern Virginia’s outer suburbs, was Virginia’s fastest growing locality in the 1990s and 2000s, nearly doubling its population each decade. Population growth in Loudoun, as in much of Virginia during the two decades was fueled by people moving out to newly built subdivisions on the edges of the commonwealth’s largest metro areas. Though Loudoun remains the fastest growing locality in the state, its growth has slowed considerably.

Virginia’s population growth has moderated since 2010, the study finds, with the commonwealth’s population totaling 8.4 million as of July 2015. Virginia's population grew by 4.8 percent since 2010, and the commonwealth remains the 12th-largest state in the U.S.

“This is a decade of slower growth, both nationally and in Virginia,” Qian Cai, director of the Demographics Research Group at the Cooper Center, said in a prepared statement. “We expect the trends observed in the first half of this decade will continue.”

The second fastest-growing county in the Virginia was Arlington, which saw its population rise 13 percent, from 207,627 to 234,678, between the 2010 census and the 2015 estimates.

The Cooper Center’s population estimates, prepared annually, are the official figures for the commonwealth of Virginia. The estimates are based on changes since 2010 in housing stock, school enrollment, births, deaths and drivers’ license issuances. They are used by state and local government agencies in revenue sharing, funding allocations, planning and budgeting.


Callme, no reason to cut. Hire fewer than 700 new teachers/yr. Increase class size by 1 student/class/yr for three years. Save 12%+ ($130M+/ yr).

Welcome to the 21st century and the advantages of technology! Btw, where do you think all those LCPS graduates are going to work? Many will work in the tech field making industries more efficient and productive. Guess you agree with Obama that ATMs are bad because they eliminated bank tellers (“more with less?”). Folks, I am not paying Callme to write such nonsense.

another 575 words to present your plan: cut the number of teachers and raise the number of students in a classroom - in other words (and 4 words to be specific), do more with less

By the way, as I’ve told Diane Ravitch on her blog countless times, animated lessons are some of the most effective you will ever see.  A neighbor shared LeapFrog’s Letter Factory video.  It’s like crack for kids but they learn the alphabet and their primary sounds within 2-3 weeks regardless of age (2 yrs, 3 yrs).  The schools should just give that out to all families with a 3-yr-old.  Whereas it takes a $100K+ teacher a good chunk of the year to have kids memorize that, a child learns those letters in a few weeks using a $20 video.  Best $440 ($20 x 22) we could ever spend.

Ok Callme, let’s have a brief econ 101 lesson.

1. In the 1700’s, 90% of the population had to grow food to feed everyone.  They did not have tractors to more efficiently work the land.  According to you, we should never have asked farmers to do “more with less” and should have kept all of these folks employed as farmers.

2. As we advanced in agricultural (fertilizers, tractors, etc.), we now have 10% of the population growing more food than ever.  That’s called productivity.  A given farmer can work more land than ever before because of technology.

3. Whereas secretaries or clerks used to process pieces of paper by hand, we now have automated tools that can scan, store and retrieve such information.  That means we have improved the efficiency of those jobs so that fewer workers can actually perform more work than before.  As the skill level involved rises (have to be able to use the information systems and be trained on them as opposed to filing in a cabinet), their wages have increased.  Once again, it’s called productivity.

4. The military has always had to train its members on various pieces of equipment (airplanes, sonar, ranges, etc.).  They used to contract out for special training devices and use physical training fields for all training.  Whereas they still conduct real, live events, much of this is done in simulators now.  In fact, many use the commercial video games to train because they are as realistic as any other method.  Once again, productivity increased, and training military members became much more efficient (called productivity if you haven’t gotten the point).

5. Before Khan Academy and others, kids had no real recourse to get an alternative explanation if their teachers couldn’t teach herself out of a paper bag.  They had to hope their parent could explain it or their parents could pay for a tutor.  Now, they can access numerous videos explaining virtually every concept under the sun.  That’s how software engineers learn new skills - they don’t enroll in courses, they find the information online.  It’s called productivity once again.  Guess what, that’s what students in college to as well since multiple, outstanding professors put their videos on line.

Back to LCPS.  Asst Supt highlighted “blended learning” during the budget debate.  What the **** do you think that is?  It’s using online tools to augment the instruction that teachers provide.  It’s the ability to use better lectures, games and exercises online to teach subjects.  If the kids are on the computer, a teacher can manage MORE students.  The teacher needs to be just as effective to help students when on a particularly difficult concept and of course to inspire the students and help them put it all together.  But just like in every other field, productivity increased the efficiency (and the value -> salary) of our teachers. 

You seem to be the only person in NOVA who cannot understand this.  The train has left the station.  Your own officials are moving in this direction with blended learning.  You and your union buddies just refuse to allow the students (fewer times the students are forced to learn at an unnatural pace) and taxpayer (higher S/T ratios mean lower costs even with higher teacher pay) to reap the benefits.  Your teachers must have had a really rough go of it.  Or maybe they just inflated your grades so you would move out of their class.

As is your standard practice, you are changing the subject once again, SGP

Students and families already have online tools to use and many of them are excellent.  Many of the Kahn academy videos are great.  They do not substitute completely for what gets taught in the classroom.  If so, then more kids would be home schooled. 

But that is not the question here.  Your original point is that teachers could simply assign technology to make up for not having enough time to spend with individual kids because their class sizes were enlarged.  This is nonsense. 

Stay focused, though.

Callme, why do teachers assign homework to elementary kids using online tools? Why do they have kids use these same online tools during class at various times during the week? If teachers “differentiate” instruction, that means often a majority of kids are in class without the attention of the teacher. Why did my get the attention of the teacher during 1st grade for, at most, 5 times during the whole year regarding reading instruction.

We know what goes on in class. Because the foolish admins refuse to track students, most kids are either lost (class going to fast), bored (class going to slow), or working on their own at any given time. Nobody is saying to use only online tools. But it’s crazy to think LCPS teachers have a monopoly on explaining concepts. Sal Khan (Khan Academy) was a financial/tech worker who, according to you, had no clue about teaching. The videos he produced for his cousin spread like wildfire until today, teachers tell their students to use his videos as instruction. Khan Academy also produces SAT prep lessons, financial videos, you name it.

Just accept it Callme. Many folks who didn’t go into teaching know how to teach so much better than you. That’s why their kids pass the pre-tests before you even teach them the material. If we removed the constraints on these kids, they could trace ahead and our efficiency would skyrocket. Keep on telling yourself that you are the reason so many of our kids score well. Nobody but you and the union believe that.

“Online tools allow teachers to instruct more kids per class”

Have you ever been in a class?  Have you ever talked to a teacher?  If online tools can substitute for teacher involvement, then why do so many students struggle with so many subjects.  Why do parents in the county pay for live, in-person tutors instead of simply turning to Google?

You are disconnected from real life teaching in so many ways.  This is why you have no credibility on and education subject.

Callme, it’s called productivity.  That’s why we have higher standards of living and don’t need 90% of the population to grow food.  But I guess you missed that in Econ 101.

Online tools allow teachers to instruct more kids per class.  Fewer overall teachers = more effective teachers (fewer NFL teams mean overall QB quality is better).  Fewer overall teachers = higher pay for effective teachers.

I’m sorry you all have trouble understanding how every other industry besides education (so far) works.  And I’m sorry Callme can’t understand basic logic (fewer teachers with more students = higher pay, not less).

So SGP is basically saying that he wants teachers and staff to do more with less.  More students in each class for lower pay.

I am glad that we finally got that out in the open so we don’t need to see any more of your 1,000 word rants saying exactly what I just wrote in three words - more for less.

Sure wish Virginia SGP would start his own blog or something and stop bloviating on every story that appears.

I agree with Lawman. If we can just get more brown population into management and business ownership, the tax base will grow accordingly. Don’t care who you include in “brown”—my definition
is non-white.

this is not a badge of accomplishment, it is a sign that the leaders of this county are in the pockets of greedy developers who are raping the county. And the new people who have moved here are not nice people. Gone are the courtesies that made Loudoun special, gone are the small towns that had charm. Leesburg looks like New Jersey now, Purcellville wants to look like New Jersey. Just yesterday I needed to make right turn onto Business 7 coming from the Home Depot which is difficult. I had my signal on and the guy in the far right lane sped up to cut my turn off. Years ago, a real Loudouner would have waved me over. Sad commentary that the so called leaders here cannot protects its citizens and bend over backwards so out of state developers, like Toll Brothers, Ryan etc can make money at our expense. One more year here and we are gone to a place that reveres its history, culture and beauty. Loudoun has gone to the dogs…

As long as the median income remains high, life will be good.

Efficiency of scale tells us per pupil costs should go down as enrollment rises.  In fact, LCPS admits that its projection of additional cost for enrollment growth is an overestimate.

Not true on areas to cut.  I have said that class size should be raised.  Most of our classes have about 22 students in them (look at the avg high school math class sizes in the SB budget questions - many are < 20).  And if you count the student/teacher ratio (multiple teachers per class), it’s about 16:1.

I suggest raising class size by 10%.  That would reduce cost by an equivalent 10%.  You don’t have to return all of that to the taxpayer.  You could use some to actually increase teacher salaries for effective teachers.  You could invest in grading assistants and online learning/incremental testing to provide teachers with more usable information on their students.

When the budget is composed of 90% personnel costs, there are only 2 real levers you have.  Class size and teacher pay.  They are diametrically opposed effects.

End by-right housing construction.

Actually, the budget is quite open so not sure what you think is hidden.  As far as costs go, most costs do not have a straight line equation.  Incremental costs occur when buildings open and staffing is increased that are not linear.  Inflation for the schools is. It the same as a national rate.  Just as my personal rate of inflation is not the same. Bottom line, you continue to complain but have never identified any area other than teacher pay to cut.  Why is that?

Callme, let’s go back to Econ 101 which apparently you never took or slept through.

1. Infrastructure is captured in the CIP funding, not the operating budget, thus it’s N/A for the typical per pupil cost provided by LCPS. (strike 1)

2. As systems scale, the average cost drops rather than increasing.  That is unless we have a bloated administration in the castle (strike 2).

3. In FY08, our school budget was incredibly bloated.  Contrary to your claim that our schools must begin at the “optimal starting point” they began with a need to be pruned (strike 3)

It is true that if the mix of students radically changes, that could affect costs.  But so far the changes in the mix have been small.  I have no idea what you are talking about relative to “mandated costs”, please cite something, anything to demonstrate.

This is why we should evaluate our school budgets relative to the following:

(enrollment growth) + (inflation).

If enrollment growth ~ population growth, then the average household should expect their property tax bill to rise with inflation.  Yes, that’s higher than an “equalized rate”, but given that inflation has been < 0.5% these past couple years, it shouldn’t be much.  First, we have to unearth all of the hidden costs that LCSB/LCPS failed to alert us on.

SGP.  You continue to make the claim that school budgets and population growth must remain the same.  This is a false belief.  To have that happen, schools would have had to be at an optimal stating point, costs must remain flat for all goods and services, no new infrastructure could be added, and mandated new costs could not be added, and the mix of students.  None of these are true. Therefore, the budget should not be expect to mimic population growth.

20% growth over 5 years equates to 3.7% compounded annual growth.  Hmmm… I think I’ve seen that number somewhere else.  In the enrollment growth of LCPS.

So contrary to what some might claim, student growth is equal to population growth.  Thus, the tax rate should be able to remain constant and still fund the schools (3.7% more households each year paying 3.7% more in overall taxes to serve 3.7% more students).

Btw Lawman, on what basis do you make your claim?  Are you suggesting that Asians and Indians are “brown”?  I don’t think they have historically been mixed in with blacks and Hispanics.  I’m all for giving everyone a fair chance, but I think you are mixing demographics.

It is growing and it is turning Brown.  Now if we can just get the local workforce to do the same.

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