Welcome to LoudounTimes.com
Loudoun Times-Mirror

School system stalling, Government Reform Commission says

Loudoun County’s Government Reform Commission accused Loudoun County Public Schools of evading their questions during a joint meeting of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board on Thurs., Dec. 19.

The commission surveyed county government and the school system in months after August about how the two bodies could share consolidate departments to share services and save money.

It is tasked with reviewing various aspects of county government and making recommendations about how they could be more efficient.

James Rohrbaugh, the co-chair of one of the commission’s subcommittees, said they surveyed both bodies on 34 areas that services might be consolidated.

It took the county three weeks to respond after the survey was given out in August, and the school system eventually gave a response in November after meetings.

Rohrbaugh told the joint boards that the lack of cooperation from the school system made it impossible for the commission to make any kind of recommendation.

He said only two areas were identified out of 34, whereas the county identified 18.

“The document goes on to state, ‘we do not believe that there are any areas where consolidation would be beneficial for cost savings,’” Rohrbaugh said, reading the school system’s response. “But then it states, ‘as a larger entity, could we take over some of the county functions? Yes, but we would need more staff to do so.’” 

The school system also stated in their response that doing so would interfere with the School Board’s constitutional right to run the school system.

Superintendent Edgar Hatrick, who attended the meeting, said he thought they had complied with the commission’s request.

“If there’s more information that is requested, we will certainly try to provide it,” Hatrick said. “We’ve submitted this information to the School Board ... we thought were answering the questions they were after.”
Rohrbaugh said the document was focused entirely on the reasons why services couldn’t be consolidated, which he said was against the nature of the process.

“This process has made clear to me that there are many more [areas] that deserve objective consideration and that the response to our request clearly indicates that objective consideration has not yet occurred,” Rohrbaugh said.

Hatrick said later that he wasn’t sure that more conversation would yield the result the commission was looking for.

“Because we didn’t provide the answer you wanted doesn’t mean the answer we provided is wrong, but it certainly does indicate that we need to talk about it more,” Hatrick said.

Both sides agreed that there needed to be involvement from the School Board and the Board of Supervisors to help guide the process.

“It has to be a face-to-face collaboration, it’s just not working,” School Board member Jeff Morse (Dulles) said. “What’s killing this whole process … the communication is just not there. I think, somehow, the School
Board needs to take that under advisement.”

Supervisors Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin), a former School Board member, suggested that the School Board appoint a school system staff member to the commission.

He said that trust issues between the two boards could slow down the process.

“If you consolidate it, who controls it?” Higgins said. “We need to build a framework under which that trust and control can be established and balanced so everybody’s comfortable with what happens.”


Same stuff different year for Hatrick.
Bus transportation costs over $4.00 a day for students. If the child is special needs or qualifies for the reduced meal or free meal then they get to ride the bus for free. Using the WABE numbers that’s less then 20,000 kids. The remaining families should pay the four dollars a day and that saves the taxpayer 186k a day or almost 930 thousand dollars a week. Busing was used to end segregation and once that was completed the service remained as a convenience. Gasoline was about 40 cents a gallon then. A convenient safe and cost effective way to get children to school is what is in place now, it should be the family that pays for this service not the property owners taxes. That’s about $33,480,000.00 savings to the Loudoun County Public School budget. Hatricks number do not compute in order to maintain the status quo he says they need 53 million dollars but using the inflation index it’s only 24 million that is needed.

“If the Board of Spending (aka Board of Supervisors) does not fully fund the school system (whatever that means) Hatrick promises that all the Loudoun kids will be stupid, the teachers will all quit and drive to PG county every day (they pay teachers $892 more) and there wilol be nobody to drive the buses even with full benefits.

What unprofessional and disgraceful behavior from our school officials…LCPS administration is chock full of fatcat bureaucrats that are overpaid and underworked…

Post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments express only the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or any associated person or entity. Any user who believes a message is objectionable can contact us at ltmeditor@loudountimes.com.

More News

The Loudoun Times-Mirror

is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.
Click here for all e-editions.