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Old 05-20-2013, 12:52 PM
 
43 posts, read 120,500 times
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Long story short, my husband is being considered for a position in Winchester, VA that would promote him a full officer rank. As a career Army Guardsman, there is basically no way to turn down the job if he was offered it. It's a promotion that propels him further up, and opens up several more doors in the future.

Anyway, here's the problem: our 2 year old son has Autism and we need the services Fairfax County Public Schools provides. Plus, I'm pregnant with #2 in July! I am sure I don't even have to research the public school system in Winchester.. I can't imagine it's any good. And I don't even want to imagine what their special-ed program is like.

On top of that, we'd lose about $1000 worth of BAH money (housing money) being based in Winchester - even with the pay promotion. So yes, his pay would go up, but we'd still be a couple hundred short of what we're making now w/ his rank and Fairfax County BAH.

My question is, where is the closest we can get to Winchester while staying in Fairfax County? What about Loudoun? We would probably have to down-grade our living space and rent a smaller home (we're currently in a 3 story, 3 bedroom 3 bath townhouse).. but there's no way I can move our family to Winchester.

Last edited by MrsHunny; 05-20-2013 at 01:02 PM..
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,588,370 times
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Your BAH will go down because your housing expenses will go down. A house in Winchester is going to be significantly cheaper than Fairfax.

Does Fairfax provide early intervention supports, preschool, etc? (I am not familiar with their ECE offerings). If not, then this isn't really an issue for 3 years, so I'd move out there, enjoy a nice commute, and re-evaluate in 3 years (when there may be another job on the horizon anyway).

If you are set on Fairfax, the closest you can get to Winchester is probably the Herndon or Chantilly areas. Either is going to be at least an hour commute with no traffic.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:00 PM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,875,669 times
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Chantilly (along Route 50) or Herndon (along Route 7).

With that said, would you keep the Fairfax BAH money despite your husband working in Winchester VA?

It wouldn't hurt to call the schools in these counties:
Frederick/Washington MD
Berkeley/Jefferson WV
Frederick/Winchester/Clarke/Loudoun/Warren/Shenandoah VA

Many of the services FCPS provide are required by state and/or federal law.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:07 PM
 
43 posts, read 120,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
Does Fairfax provide early intervention supports, preschool, etc? (I am not familiar with their ECE offerings).
Yes, he will be starting a pre-school program this fall 5 days a week. It is specifically for children with autism. The teachers are trained to use ABA-style teaching, and the student to teacher ratio is very, very small. I think 2 to 1? It's run by Fairfax County Public Schools, and is a highly praised program. I expect he'll make a lot of progress in it. They don't offer anything like it in Winchester.

Quote:
With that said, would you keep the Fairfax BAH money despite your husband working in Winchester VA?
We'll be stuck with Winchester BAH no matter where we decide to live. That's the problem.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Prince William County, VA
664 posts, read 1,625,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsHunny View Post
Long story short, my husband is being considered for a position in Winchester, VA that would promote him a full officer rank. As a career Army Guardsman, there is basically no way to turn down the job if he was offered it. It's a promotion that propels him further up, and opens up several more doors in the future.

Anyway, here's the problem: our 2 year old son has Autism and we need the services Fairfax County Public Schools provides. Plus, I'm pregnant with #2 in July! I am sure I don't even have to research the public school system in Winchester.. I can't imagine it's any good. And I don't even want to imagine what their special-ed program is like.

On top of that, we'd lose about $1000 worth of BAH money (housing money) being based in Winchester - even with the pay promotion. So yes, his pay would go up, but we'd still be a couple hundred short of what we're making now w/ his rank and Fairfax County BAH.

My question is, where is the closest we can get to Winchester while staying in Fairfax County? What about Loudoun? We would probably have to down-grade our living space and rent a smaller home (we're currently in a 3 story, 3 bedroom 3 bath townhouse).. but there's no way I can move our family to Winchester.

Wow. So you haven't even done any research or found any information about what the school system is actually like, but you are making these assumptions?
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:18 PM
 
1,332 posts, read 2,702,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsHunny View Post
Long story short, my husband is being considered for a position in Winchester, VA that would promote him a full officer rank. As a career Army Guardsman, there is basically no way to turn down the job if he was offered it. It is so important for the future of his career. Anyway, here's the problem: our 2 year old son has Autism and we need the services Fairfax County Public Schools provides. Plus, I'm pregnant with #2 in July! I am sure I don't even have to research the public school system in Winchester.. I can't imagine they're any good, let alone provide any services for children on the Autism spectrum.

On top of that, we'd lose about $1000 worth of BAH money (housing money) being based in Winchester - even with the promotion. Yes, his pay would go up, but we'd still be short about a couple hundred w/ his rank and Fairfax BAH.

My question is, where is the closest we can get to Winchester while staying in Fairfax County? What about Loudoun? We would have to down-grade our living space and rent a smaller home.. but there's no way I can move our family to Winchester.
Well, I'm assuming you are currently banking any extra BAH right now, or else the lower BAH wouldn't matter since the cost of housing is lower...if you did move there. But since you want to stay in Fairfax, agreed you will have to downsize or take a bigger hit on your budget. But the driving $ for your husband, albeit it is a reverse commute will add up quickly.

You stated you want to stay in Fairfax, but you asked about Loudoun. Are you asking if it is closer? I think you figured out it is closer..or are you asking if the public school system has a good austism program?

Not to sound flippant but the answer to your first question is simple ...If in fact you want to stay in Fairfax county..and that is to look at the boundaries and pick an area that is on the western edge. The closest area to I66 (to help your husband) would be around Centerville. But not all schools are created equal and that seems to be more of driver than anything.

And not knowing where you live now, Eastern, western, southern Fairfax county, you might be jumping into a much more expensive area, than you currently live.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:20 PM
 
43 posts, read 120,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HereinVA View Post
Wow. So you haven't even done any research or found any information about what the school system is actually like, but you are making these assumptions?


Well, I grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from a Fairfax County Public School. I know Fairfax County Public Schools are top-knotch, and I know it's common knowledge they're the best in the state. I know my kid has autism, and that while VA isn't the best state for autistic kids, if you're going to be stuck here - Fairfax County offers the best services. I know I will only accept the best for my child. I will not down-grade.

Mmm-kay? Just common (local) knowledge.


Last edited by MrsHunny; 05-20-2013 at 01:30 PM..
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:20 PM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,875,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsHunny View Post
Yes, he will be starting a pre-school program this fall 5 days a week. It is specifically for children with autism, and it's run by Fairfax County Public Schools. It is a highly praised program and I expect he'll make a lot of progress in it. They don't offer anything like it in Winchester.

We'll be stuck with Winchester BAH no matter where we decide to live. That's the problem.
Ah. Find out if Loudoun County VA, Frederick County MD, or Washington County MD have something similar.

Those would at least be cheaper than Fairfax VA (much so in the case of Washington MD).
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:26 PM
 
43 posts, read 120,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slduvall View Post
You stated you want to stay in Fairfax, but you asked about Loudoun. Are you asking if it is closer? I think you figured out it is closer..or are you asking if the public school system has a good austism program?
Sorry, I'm a bit all over the place. I am asking if anyone has any information about Loudoun's autism program. I know the schools (in general) are good, and I know it's closer to Winchester. I will do my own research, but I figured I'd stop and ask here first. I would consider Loudoun if their special-ed programs are similar to Fairfax's, and if they have a good reputation.
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Old 05-20-2013, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Prince William County, VA
664 posts, read 1,625,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsHunny View Post

Well, I grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from a Fairfax County Public School. I know Fairfax County Public Schools are top-knotch, and I know it's common knowledge they're the best in the state. I know my kid has autism, and that while VA isn't the best state for autistic kids, if you're going to be stuck here - Fairfax County offers the best services. I know I will only accept the best for my child. I will not down-grade.

Mmm-kay? Just common (local) knowledge.


If you "will only accept the best for your child", you'll need to make sacrifices (both financially, and in your husband's time). Spend more money to stay in Fairfax county, subject your Dh to a longer commute, and quit complaining about he loss of BAH and how unfair it is. If this is the first "unfair" move you've been subjected to in your husband's military career, consider yourself lucky. In fact, consider yourself lucky that staying in Fairfax county is even an option at all, even with the higher cost and longer commute. Be glad that his possible promotion won't put him in Korea or Alabama or some other place where a commute from Fairfax wouldn't be possible.
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