Let's get ready to rumble

Plan to attend the Loudoun Education Alliance of Parents (LEAP) meeting this Wednesday at 7pm at the LCPS School Admin Building in Ashburn next to Clyde's. Superintendent Hatrick will be presenting his proposed FY2015 budget for the Loudoun's public schools. It is open to all parents of LCPS students and members of the public. If you can't make it on Wednesday, he will also be presenting the budget to the School Board the day before on Tuesday from 6:30 - 8:30pm at the same location. The LEAP meeting is generally a more informal setting where the speaker takes questions from the attendees.

As you should be aware by now, the Board of Supervisors has asked for a county budget without an increase in property tax revenue, as well as one with a decrease in property tax revenue. Dr. Hatrick is expected to present a budget that increases spending over the previous year, especially since enrollment is still expected to rise. The Washington Post presented a great recap of the situation in today's paper http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/as-loudouns-school-budget-cycle-begins-hatrick-warns-of-the-effects-of-budget-cuts/2014/01/03/8c6417ea-6bee-11e3-aecc-85cb037b7236_story.html.

After the budget presentation, it goes into the School Board's hands. Since this School Board has been in office, they have cut the proposed budget before sending it to the Board of Supervisors, who then cut it again. In the past, prior School Boards cut less (at least once they didn't cut it at all), since the Board of Supervisors never seems to fully fund their request. This School Board has been different, making large cuts first. It hasn't made a difference -- the Board of Supervisors has still made their own large cuts, resulting in even larger cuts overall from the proposed budget. It remains to be seen if the School Board will make their own big cuts again this year and how much they will try to convince their counterparts on the Board of Supervisors to fund their request.

It is time to get involved. Start with one of the presentations this week. Follow it up with at least one of the School Board public hearings on the budget the 14th and 16th. Plan to attend BOS meetings too. (See the full calendar here.) Tell your friends. Share this page and/or the Facebook page and/or Twitter.

Pull out your gloves, because the fight for Loudoun's schools is about to begin.

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