As a mother of two children in Prince William County Schools, I have a greater motivation to make our schools the best they can be than most.
I’m proud of the work our county school board members like Gil Trenum, Willie Deutsch, and Alyson Satterwhite have done. But, by and large, the body has largely chosen to put advancing a radical political agenda over what they’re getting paid to do, or should do – which is to make sure our children receive a first-class education.
They must set their agenda aside and get back to the basics.
The board must also be more transparent about their spending. Overspending on new facilities have taxpayers questioning the budget process, and with good reason.
Instead of building lavish new “nine-figure” facilities, perhaps we should be a little more modest when we build our schools in the future.
The classic brick-and-mortar structures you and I were taught out of were good enough for us.
They’re good enough for my two children, as well.
$90 or $95 million for a new building will work just fine.
I support using the money we would save on new facilities to go towards giving our teachers a needed pay increase.
The Price of Our Current Approach to Development
Finally, we must acknowledge how the county’s current “growth-at-all-costs” strategy has affected our children’s education.
Along with increased traffic, school overcrowding ranks at the very top of the harmful consequences resulting from our two-decade long approach to development.
Prince William County presently has the most overcrowded schools in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia, and the lowest teacher to student ratio in Northern Virginia.
These truths put our children at a real disadvantage.
The status quo either has them learning out of $100 million dollar plus facilities – or trailers. Neither one is acceptable.
Smart development that slows the population explosion and allows our infrastructure, like school facilities, to catch up to our population growth, in addition to a much more fiscally conservative approach when building those facilities, will help solve the issue of overcrowding and overspending.