Posts Tagged ‘FCPS’

Backing the Right Horse

May 1, 2015




I know I gave Superintendent of Public Instruction Karen Garza a hard time recently over the flak of the first snow days of the winter past but she has been doing a good job and there were no other fiascoes after that first snowy day.

Now she has another battle on her hands: the Fairfax County School Board has voted themselves massive pay raises (that is, if you conside 33% increases “massive”) while announcing there is a budget shortfall this year and the education services are going to have to be reduced. And, no, the teachers will get no more than a 0.6% pay raise to make up for the lack of COLAs for the past seven years.

Though the school board would probably like to have kept all this on the low-down, Superintendent Garza has gone very public with her feelings of betrayal by the elected body. And I’m sure it is touching a sensitive nerve throughout the county.

Several teacher friends of my wife have already announced their retirement from the county and moving to another county with better pay. Yes, we are losing a lot of the really good teachers. It does not bode well.

Then there is a new Facebook page started up to pass out information to the voters in the county about the very real need to have the current school board members voted out of office come November and put in some more service-oriented folk.

What I am wondering – and this is an idea that has been gathering dust in my closet since I first mentioned it a dozen years ago – is that there might be another source of support funding for the school system. Since the duly-elected government officials seem to be falling down so hard on the job, let’s turn this over to the corporate sector.

Just like Dan Snyder sold the naming rights for the Redskin’s Jack Kent Cook Stadium (now called “Fedex Field”) why not offer the same sort of coverage to corporate sponsors of public education?

The fees for naming High Schools would be more than Elementary Schools, of course, and the names could be combined.

Lanier Wells Fargo Middle School. Southfield Exxon-Mobil High. Don’t those names simply sing?

And Exxon-Mobil has enough money that they could name more than one high school in the county!

I am certain there are enough corporations with large enough marketing funds to assist the county’s shortfall. And each of the company’s could also have special projects funded in the schools as well. Not just for helping groom future employees but for assisting in grooming the future working force of America.

I know that Google and Lockheed Martin are already partnered in many ways with some of the local schools in different support roles so why not a more direct funding option as well?

It could be a win-win for everyone.

Although I do not know how much control over the curriculum the sponsors should be allowed. If any.

(Hmm, I wonder if Woodson Martian Publishing High has the proper ring to it?)






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Superintendent Karen Garza Got Greedy, and Got Caught With Her Pants Down

January 6, 2015

Fairfax County Schools is having a great morning this fine snowy day. First snow of the season – and we all know how well people remember how to drive in this stuff since last winter (yeah, as if!) – twenty degree temperature which means it isn’t going to melt anytime soon, and five-plus inches of fine slick powder.

It should have been a no-brainer to announce a snow day or, like most of the other counties in the region, announce a two-hour delay first thing at 6 a.m. then wait to see how it’s piling up. Then, if things turn south, you can cancel the entire day. Just like eight of the surrounding counties did.

It seems in the past that FCPS would take this “optimistic” view the first snow of the year because the district only had three snow days. And you know how valuable those things can be!!

So after a year that used an inordinate amount of such exclusions from the curriculum, the school board gave the superintendent a few extra days. Thirteen, to be precise and these days are not fluid, they are money in the bank. If there was absolutely NO SNOW this year – and with all this Global Warming, who knows? – the teachers would still have to work those thirteen days.

In previous years, having only three snow days, if there happened to be more than the three taken the district would simply add days to the calendar. There is a minimum number of days the teachers have to work, it seems.

Anyway, with a plethora of snow days to utilize, the Super decided to keep the schools on a normal schedule. And for what?!

In what proves to be a miserable rush hour for everyone, the problem is increased with the number of teachers, parents, and buses added to the mix. Endangering the lives of the students (and everyone else) shows a complete lack of intelligence and a total lack of concern.

Oh, except for squeezing in that extra day of work from the teachers, huh?

Face it, Dr. Garza, your opportunistic attitude has been unmasked.

You do not care for the teachers, the students, or their families, just about squeezing an extra day out of your employees.

I only hope that the Teachers Unions, the PTAs, and the Media can help wake you up to some reality.

*******

Here it is 10:30 a.m. and the County Administration has issued an apology for the problems and noted many people have called them to close the schools. They say that the students are actually safer in the schools…

Which imbecile in PR thought that one up? From the tweets I have been seeing all morning not even half the buses have made it to school yet… they are trapped in the freezing traffic.

How can anyone think this makes them “safer”?!!

Makes one wonder if anyone over at county has an elementary education much less a H.S. diploma.

Even the most meager intellects know to learn from past mistakes.

It’s a shame that no one at FCPS can make a claim to that.