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Old 04-25-2014, 09:35 AM
 
Location: D.C.
2,240 posts, read 1,864,280 times
Reputation: 3501

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Wife told me this morning that recent budget cuts for Loudoun County has resulted in summer school being cancelled across the board, except for those classes with federal support services (special education). How is it remotely possible that a county, of which has been singled out for the past several years as being one the top 5 wealthiest in the nation, can't afford to teach kids who want to learn during the summer? How can Detroit do it, but we can't? Additionally, Loudoun might be big geographically speaking, but for the most part, rural in terms of population statistics. I point this out, because we can't be talking about a billion kids who need a million teachers.

I think a few decision makers within the county need to consider another career path. I read somewhere that one of those decision makers rejected the pleas of the actual population base of the county to raise property taxes very slightly to support the schools. I don't who that person was, but I'd start there and branch out.

Make no mistake, nothing will hurt the appeal of a community more than a screwed up educational system. For fear of raising property taxes ever so slightly for what is supposed to be one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, at the expense of the future potential of the children to those who pay those taxes, isn't just a zero sum approach, it's a negative sum approach. It is, on all accounts, just stupid. I mean come on, they're going to cut summer school for children because they fear the extra $30/year in property taxes will cause economic harm to the county, yet they allow for an Australian company to basically manipulate the public DOT road system to protect a $5+ toll fee, which is unfairly priced for the vast majority of those who use it?

This is starting to feel like Detroit, with an MBA. Do public counties not go through audit reviews by the fed? Is anyone minding the store here? Or are they all too busy washing their BMW(s)?
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Old 04-25-2014, 09:50 AM
 
280 posts, read 970,791 times
Reputation: 105
Agree wholeheartedly. Downright depressing. Vote em out.
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:37 AM
 
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,876,107 times
Reputation: 869
Most of the conservatives think there's a never-ending supply of bureaucrats at the central office that can bet fired to get everything you need. That is, among the ones who even care about teacher salaries, class size, etc.

With that said, Loudoun schools won't ever get *that* bad due to the household incomes running around out there and the educational attainment of the mothers in Loudoun.
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 4,649,030 times
Reputation: 1292
In my opinion, both the BOS and the School Board are at fault. BOS will not raise taxes. The budget request from the schools has some shady spots in it (I mean 'shady' in both senses - murky, and suspect). BOS says, nope, you're not getting as much of an increase as you asked for, better find some things to take out. School Board runs this pathetic dog-and-pony show for weeks, encouraging every special interest group with something on the chopping block to parade in front of them for two minutes per speaker, knowing full well what they are already going to do. They end up passing a budget that is in the hole, with the contingency that they are going to go back to LCPS administration and ask them to find their own cuts within their divisions to make up the difference. Why the heck didn't they start that way in the first place, BEFORE they submitted the initial budget request to the BOS? Why does it have to be this way every year?

Maybe I'm just a little bitter because my kids are jammed into a school at 114% capacity; where people start lining up at 3:00 a.m. to get their kid a spot in kindergarten so that they aren't bused far away, since the other schools nearby are overcapacity too; where people who can afford private full-day kindergarten try to transfer their kids in before the end of the school year (if there is an open spot because someone moved) so that they get a guaranteed spot for first grade. We love the school, the teachers and staff are fantastic, but the situation is frustrating and if I didn't love Brambleton so much I might be looking to head back to Fairfax County. (I lived for 4 years within sight of Haycock Elementary, never knowing that I was in one of the more desirable school pyramids in the area. Sigh.)

I am hoping that the new superintendent can turn things around, but I don't trust the School Board, not one bit.
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:08 PM
 
Location: D.C.
2,240 posts, read 1,864,280 times
Reputation: 3501
It's embarrassing is what it is. We've have zoning/planning folks in the media turning down developers who have sweetened the proffer pot offerings for zoning authorization, saying "it's not about the proffers anymore influencing our decision for the county, we have more than we can handle in the proffers already". We have actual residents saying "please, tax me more for this, I'm ok with it", granted not all residents though, but a good portion. We've got the attention of the biggest boys and girls in CRE development/investment from not only around the country, but in certain cases, around the world. Japan in One Loudoun, Saudi and Kuwait as equity partners on data farms, the largest brokerage/investment firm in the nation owns Mooresview Station.

We have a toll road that charges nearly $6 bucks for 200 feet of travel that is jammed up twice a day with folks. We have McMansions and the toys that fit in those garages running around. The BMW 328i and Audi A4 is to Eastern Loudoun County what the Honda Accord is to the rest of the country.

But, we can't afford to offer summer school. Even moreso, I hear they actually wanted to CLOSE 4 schools next year due to budget cuts. One of the key reasons why people move to Loudoun is for the benefits it has for their kids. How many posts have we seen on here of people coming in, asking where the good schools are and safe family setting? Loudoun always comes up with a few others.

But we can't afford to buy a ball for a special needs class of toddlers in Mooreview Station.

We want to turn Belmont Ridge into a friggin' outer loop expressway, but the ingress/egrees of Mooreview Station is flat-out dangerous because it's too expensive to finish 400 yards of roadway to connect Mooreview Pkwy to Old Ryan Rd, leaving the access points for the largest elementary school in Loudoun County being a two lane through a neighborhood, and the parking lot of the neighboring apartment complex. Can you image the nightmare this would cause in an emergency? All because someone said "we can't afford it". Bull!

Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham) filed the largest municipality bankruptcy case in the history of the United States last year, because they bit on the exotic (toxic) financing apple for their sewer system during the boom of 07'. They didn't understand it. Basically NYC took the good ole' boys for a ride. Yet, they have summer school. They can't afford to flush their toilets, but they can teach math in July.

It's embarrassing. It's shameful. And I suspect if you dug deep enough, it's probably suspect, to put it kindly. I wonder sometimes if some of these deep rooted families who owned all that land, didn't get burned during the recession and certain aspects of the county got brushed up when they should not of been involved in the first place. The excuse that Loudoun is still recovering from the recession has no merit whatsoever, when you have the CEO of Toll Brothers on CNBC making statements in 2011 that "Northern Virginia is what kept us out of trouble on our income statement during the worst of the recession".

UGG!! Sorry folks, I'm ranting. But I'm just ticked off about this and want answers. I can accept nearly everything under the banner of "life happens", except being embarrassed. I don't accept that. It deserves consequences. It deserves accountability.

My battery on my keyboard has died because of this thread :-(
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Tysons Corner
2,772 posts, read 3,657,856 times
Reputation: 1495
Vote for people who understand the role of government and aren't guided by ideology. Often times that ideology is just a smokescreen for their own corruption. Or as a county Loudoun can continue to elect folks like David LaRock and Delgaudio. Just my opinion though, I have no skin in the game. Just because someone says they are independent, doesn't mean they are, for reference see the new "independent" One America Network.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:57 PM
 
153 posts, read 236,985 times
Reputation: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by NC211 View Post
It's embarrassing is what it is. We've have zoning/planning folks in the media turning down developers who have sweetened the proffer pot offerings for zoning authorization, saying "it's not about the proffers anymore influencing our decision for the county, we have more than we can handle in the proffers already". We have actual residents saying "please, tax me more for this, I'm ok with it", granted not all residents though, but a good portion. We've got the attention of the biggest boys and girls in CRE development/investment from not only around the country, but in certain cases, around the world. Japan in One Loudoun, Saudi and Kuwait as equity partners on data farms, the largest brokerage/investment firm in the nation owns Mooresview Station.

We have a toll road that charges nearly $6 bucks for 200 feet of travel that is jammed up twice a day with folks. We have McMansions and the toys that fit in those garages running around. The BMW 328i and Audi A4 is to Eastern Loudoun County what the Honda Accord is to the rest of the country.

But, we can't afford to offer summer school. Even moreso, I hear they actually wanted to CLOSE 4 schools next year due to budget cuts. One of the key reasons why people move to Loudoun is for the benefits it has for their kids. How many posts have we seen on here of people coming in, asking where the good schools are and safe family setting? Loudoun always comes up with a few others.

But we can't afford to buy a ball for a special needs class of toddlers in Mooreview Station.

We want to turn Belmont Ridge into a friggin' outer loop expressway, but the ingress/egrees of Mooreview Station is flat-out dangerous because it's too expensive to finish 400 yards of roadway to connect Mooreview Pkwy to Old Ryan Rd, leaving the access points for the largest elementary school in Loudoun County being a two lane through a neighborhood, and the parking lot of the neighboring apartment complex. Can you image the nightmare this would cause in an emergency? All because someone said "we can't afford it". Bull!

Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham) filed the largest municipality bankruptcy case in the history of the United States last year, because they bit on the exotic (toxic) financing apple for their sewer system during the boom of 07'. They didn't understand it. Basically NYC took the good ole' boys for a ride. Yet, they have summer school. They can't afford to flush their toilets, but they can teach math in July.

It's embarrassing. It's shameful. And I suspect if you dug deep enough, it's probably suspect, to put it kindly. I wonder sometimes if some of these deep rooted families who owned all that land, didn't get burned during the recession and certain aspects of the county got brushed up when they should not of been involved in the first place. The excuse that Loudoun is still recovering from the recession has no merit whatsoever, when you have the CEO of Toll Brothers on CNBC making statements in 2011 that "Northern Virginia is what kept us out of trouble on our income statement during the worst of the recession".

UGG!! Sorry folks, I'm ranting. But I'm just ticked off about this and want answers. I can accept nearly everything under the banner of "life happens", except being embarrassed. I don't accept that. It deserves consequences. It deserves accountability.

My battery on my keyboard has died because of this thread :-(
I see I am not the only one who is completely perplexed by the huge disconnect by how rich Loudoun county residents are and how poorly they live (and I used to be one of them).
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
13,117 posts, read 19,970,795 times
Reputation: 7738
Is there a link to news about this? I want to see what the news said.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 4,649,030 times
Reputation: 1292
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkf747 View Post
Is there a link to news about this? I want to see what the news said.
UPDATE: School Board reconciles budget | LoudounTimes.com

School Board Completes Budget Balancing Act; Small Schools, Freshman Sports Spared - Leesburg Today Online

Loudoun's small community schools saved, for now - The Washington Post
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:55 PM
 
7,970 posts, read 9,732,653 times
Reputation: 14033
Quote:
Originally Posted by NC211 View Post
We have actual residents saying "please, tax me more for this, I'm ok with it", granted not all residents though, but a good portion.
Was there a vote or study on this? As a Loudoun county homeowner of two houses, I don't recall being asked my opinion* if we should have more money towards the overall annual budge towards schools. It's one thing to casually say at a block party, "man, it's awful that the local school no longer offers extra classes for achievers in math in the summer or trombone classes"; and another thing to offer "more funding" up as a vote to the taxpayers.

You can't accurately count the number of people who say "please tax me" for more funding unless you actually have a vote.

*(besides capital funding for new schools, which show up in annual voting)
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