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Old 08-09-2010, 06:13 AM
 
11 posts, read 19,885 times
Reputation: 27

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Suit Filed Against FairfaxCountySchool Board in Vote to Close Clifton Elementary

School Board’s Transgressions “too great to ignore”, Supporters Seek Transparency


Fairfax County, VAMonday, August 9, 2010 – Aggrieved by the targeted closure of CliftonElementary School, parents, with the support of taxpayers and residents from around the County, filed a lawsuit Friday against the School Board in FairfaxCounty’s Circuit Court.

The action against the School Board comes after nearly a year of debate centering around whether Clifton Elementary, one of the County's highest performing elementary schools, was ‘worthy’ of renovation.

With support from Friends of Community Schools (FCS), a private nonprofit organization committed to preserving community schools as anchors for the benefit of their entire community, the plaintiffs are represented by Patton Boggs LLP, a highly-regarded public policy law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Patton Boggs’ filing alleges on behalf of the plaintiffs that the School Board exceeded its authority, acted arbitrarily and capriciously, and abused its discretion.

Friday’s filing refutes the credibility of the data by Fairfax County Public School Staff, including declining enrollment, water issues and renovation costs due to ‘topography’ as reasons for closure, as well as the process the Board followed in closing the school.

“This community worked through every issue on the table, providing reasonable and fiscally prudent alternatives, including historic designation assistance offered by The National Trust for Historic Preservation, access to federal grants – even an offer to bypass its turn in the renovation queue if another school more urgently needs access to funding.” said Elizabeth Schultz, an FCS Executive Board Director.

“The School Board had no interest in any solution which resulted in the school remaining open. Geographically representing over 10% of the County, this entire region is now without a single Fairfax County Public School,” said Schultz in support of the plaintiffs, “they have willfully turned their backs on this community and it is simply too great of a transgression to ignore.”

On July 8th the School Board voted to close the school with no plan for where the students of Clifton Elementary will attend upon closure. Advertisement of the school’s closure date is being held until the Board’s completion of redistricting of South County attendance areas in the Boundary Study slated to begin after the start of the school year.

On Monday, August 2nd, FCS sponsored a community meeting to update Fairfax County residents on the effort to help save Clifton Elementary. Over 100 people, along with elected officials Senator George Barker and Supervisor Pat Herrity, gathered to discuss the effort and options available to save the community school. The community’s overwhelming support to respond to the School Board’s actions with litigation was clear at the meeting.

“It is unfortunate and disappointing that the School Board left the citizens they should be representing with no choice but the legal system. The School Board had an ever-changing 'concern of the day', with scope of renovation and so on, which resulted in decision that was arbitrary and capricious, and failed the citizens of Clifton and Fairfax County”, said a supportive Supervisor Herrity.

###

For more information contact:
Kim Farrell, Communications Director, Friends of Community Schools
Phone: 703.759.2122 Cell: 443-257-3220
Email: farrell27@msn.com www.savecliftonelementary.org
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,080,549 times
Reputation: 6825
There's a waste of paper. I doubt a court is going to or should interfere with an action of an elected body. If you don't like what the board is doing seek redress at the polls.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:29 AM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,637,365 times
Reputation: 2722
The headline notes that this is the third time in the past three years that the current Board has been sued - it doesn't acknowledge that the prior two suits were unsuccessful.

It's very hard to prevail in a Virginia court against a decision by a local body such as the School Board. The plaintiffs have to show that the School Board didn't follow its own rules for making a decision. If they followed the rules, and made a very poor decision, the plaintiffs still lose. Patton Boggs, however, is a top-flight firm.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:54 AM
 
11 posts, read 19,885 times
Reputation: 27
If you read the filing, not following its own internal policies plus Virginia law is what the filing alleges. If FCPS did as alleged, why would this be a "waste of paper"?
Multilpe media outlets have reported on this School Boards - they are ruling with deaf ears and a heavy hand. No surprise, frankly, that the taxpayers of Fairfax County are rebelling against the body politic. At nearly 54% consumption of every taxpayer dollar in the County, it's about time this bloated bureacracy of Jack Dale, Inc. come under scrutiny; it's long overdue.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:29 PM
 
8 posts, read 11,876 times
Reputation: 19
The South County Boundary Study is about to begin and the 28 schools on the list all face threats by the school board. No school boundary is safe, no program is safe. They are gunning for 'special interests' and will ease in the mindsets of parents of individual communities to lull them into a false sense of security (case in point for those in the know about the Annandale Boundary Study going on right now - parents' complacency to the Board's will is already evident - the Board is running the show on the Staff's numbers and paying lip service to parents/residents/taxpayers).
Be forewarned = if you have a child in a GT program, if you have a 'smaller' school, if you have an insufficient (per a secret ratio formula of the Board) ethnic mix, if you have a specialty center, if you have an 'older' school, etc., etc., etc., you, your students, your school, your neighborhood are at risk to the plans of the Board.
The Board has already admonished parents involved in the Annandale Boundary Study against advocating for their own school - think about that statement. Why does the Board want parents NOT to advocate for their own school?
Control. Control. Control. The fewer taxpayers in the know, the fewer involved, the fewer advocating, the more control the Board has to push its agenda.
Mark my words, their effort at Clifton is only the tip of the iceberg...they are wearing down the electorate one area at a time hoping community advocates will give up.
You better speak now or forever hold your peace.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:35 PM
 
5,071 posts, read 8,637,365 times
Reputation: 2722
Quote:
Originally Posted by FCPS Whistleblower View Post
The South County Boundary Study is about to begin and the 28 schools on the list all face threats by the school board. No school boundary is safe, no program is safe. They are gunning for 'special interests' and will ease in the mindsets of parents of individual communities to lull them into a false sense of security (case in point for those in the know about the Annandale Boundary Study going on right now - parents' complacency to the Board's will is already evident - the Board is running the show on the Staff's numbers and paying lip service to parents/residents/taxpayers).
Be forewarned = if you have a child in a GT program, if you have a 'smaller' school, if you have an insufficient (per a secret ratio formula of the Board) ethnic mix, if you have a specialty center, if you have an 'older' school, etc., etc., etc., you, your students, your school, your neighborhood are at risk to the plans of the Board.
The Board has already admonished parents involved in the Annandale Boundary Study against advocating for their own school - think about that statement. Why does the Board want parents NOT to advocate for their own school?
Control. Control. Control. The fewer taxpayers in the know, the fewer involved, the fewer advocating, the more control the Board has to push its agenda.
Mark my words, their effort at Clifton is only the tip of the iceberg...they are wearing down the electorate one area at a time hoping community advocates will give up.
You better speak now or forever hold your peace.
Simple question - are you for real or are you actually doing the School Board's bidding? Because your rhetoric is so overblown that it's hard to take your "message" seriously.

I don't know what the right solution is, but doesn't FCPS need to do something about the overcrowding at schools like Colin Powell ES in Centreville and Annandale HS? Elementary schools with 1000 students or high schools with close to 3000 students in buildings that weren't built to accommodate so many bodies don't quite seem ideal.

Last edited by JD984; 08-20-2010 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:13 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,129,583 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by FCPS Whistleblower View Post
The South County Boundary Study is about to begin and the 28 schools on the list all face threats by the school board. No school boundary is safe, no program is safe. They are gunning for 'special interests' and will ease in the mindsets of parents of individual communities to lull them into a false sense of security (case in point for those in the know about the Annandale Boundary Study going on right now - parents' complacency to the Board's will is already evident - the Board is running the show on the Staff's numbers and paying lip service to parents/residents/taxpayers).
Be forewarned = if you have a child in a GT program, if you have a 'smaller' school, if you have an insufficient (per a secret ratio formula of the Board) ethnic mix, if you have a specialty center, if you have an 'older' school, etc., etc., etc., you, your students, your school, your neighborhood are at risk to the plans of the Board.
The Board has already admonished parents involved in the Annandale Boundary Study against advocating for their own school - think about that statement. Why does the Board want parents NOT to advocate for their own school?
Control. Control. Control. The fewer taxpayers in the know, the fewer involved, the fewer advocating, the more control the Board has to push its agenda.
Mark my words, their effort at Clifton is only the tip of the iceberg...they are wearing down the electorate one area at a time hoping community advocates will give up.
You better speak now or forever hold your peace.
You are SOOOO right. This school board is down right scary. Add to all you have said with the fact that several of the old timers (16 years on the board) are not running again next year. They want to leave a ''legacy" so expect there to be BIG changes over the next year, changes without regard to those who pay the bills, the taxpayers. I expect an expansion of programs that have never worked but are very costly, massive boundary changes to ''fix'' the demographics of schools, and many programs which are also unproven and costly. They don't care how much anything costs. Why would they when they know the board of supervisors will give them more money every year?

Here's how it works, Dr. Dale asks for a huge increase inthis budget. What he really wants (not needs), and expects to get, is maybe half of that amount. The board of supervisors ''cuts'' the increase, they do NOT cut the schools' budget, only the proposed increase in the budget. Dr. Dale's staff responds by threatening to increase class sizes, cut band and string programs, cut GT programs, cut sports programs, all the things that are a guaranteed to upset parents and get them to lobby the board of supervisors for a tax increase. Please note that they never propose cuts to all their pet programs, all the totally ineffective programs that do not work. No cuts to central administration or the EIGHT area offices. Why not? Because they know that no one would notice or care. Then they wouldn't have parents and teachers begging the board of supervisors to raise taxes to increase the amount of the increase to the schools. It works every single year. The board of supervisors has cover to raise taxes. The ''community'' has demanded it! Jack Dale takes a cut in his proposed increases, just as he expected, and yet he still gets a large increase in his budget, every, single, year. As long as the public buys his act, and doesn't mind tax increases, Dale and his huge staff will continue with this dog and pony show for the very simple reason that IT ALWAYS WORKS.

With a lame duck board, expect major changes, and major budget increases over the next year.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:16 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,129,583 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Simple question - are you for real or are you actually doing the School Board's bidding? Because your rhetoric is so overblown that it's hard to take your "message" seriously.

I don't know what the right solution is, but doesn't FCPS need to do something about the overcrowding at schools like Colin Powell ES in Centreville and Annandale HS? Elementary schools with 1000 students or high schools with close to 3000 students in buildings that weren't built to accommodate so many bodies don't quite seem ideal.
Let's start by asking the parents in those communities what they want to do. Do they want to move to another school? Or would they prefer to remain in schools that are ''less than ideal"? Start with the customer, the students and parents who pay for the schools. Ask them for solutions, if they see a problem. If there isn't a problem, don't fix it.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:19 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,129,583 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tax Smart, Not More View Post
If you read the filing, not following its own internal policies plus Virginia law is what the filing alleges. If FCPS did as alleged, why would this be a "waste of paper"?
Multilpe media outlets have reported on this School Boards - they are ruling with deaf ears and a heavy hand. No surprise, frankly, that the taxpayers of Fairfax County are rebelling against the body politic. At nearly 54% consumption of every taxpayer dollar in the County, it's about time this bloated bureacracy of Jack Dale, Inc. come under scrutiny; it's long overdue.
What a shame that taxpayers have to resort to such drastic, and costly, measures to be heard by the people who are supposed to represent them! Of course those representatives do anything BUT represent the community who elected them, that's why there's a lawsuit.
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:21 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,129,583 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
There's a waste of paper. I doubt a court is going to or should interfere with an action of an elected body. If you don't like what the board is doing seek redress at the polls.
I've got two words for you, Patton Boggs. They do not take cases that they can't win. Ever. This will be fun to watch, Patton Boggs against school board attorneys. Grab some popcorn!
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