The School Board presented their proposed budget last night to the Board of Supervisors. It was a nice presentation, laying out their priorities and their justifications. The Board of Supervisors are going to need more convincing though.
Surprisingly, many of the supervisors expressed that they didn't know the desires of their constituents. If you haven't yet, now's the time to let your supervisors know you support our schools as your number one priority.
The School Board presented the results of the Community Priorities Survey they had done, where over 10,000 people responded, and 76% of them want "competitive salaries that attract the best employees" to our schools. Supervisor Volpe, though, asked if any of those survey respondents were from her district (zip code 20165). Hasn't she heard from you yet? If you're in the Algonkian District, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org cc: email@example.com. Tell her you support that too.
Supervisor Williams wonders why we care so much about teachers' salaries if we're not teachers ourselves. Do you live in the Broad Run District (Broadlands, Ashburn Village, and more)? If you're not a teacher, he needs to hear from you that you support full funding of the budget. Is Eagle Ridge your middle school? Tell him you want the 1:1 initiative expanded there like the budget proposes. Email him at Shawn.Williams@loudoun.gov and cc: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supervisor Buona would like to know what you want to cut from the budget so that he can lower our taxes. He supports reducing class sizes, increasing teacher salaries and improving technology. He just thinks we can get rid of some of that other stuff and fit it all in. What do you think? Do you live in the Ashburn district (Ashburn Farm, Lansdowne and more)? Let him know whether your priority is lowering your taxes or if you would rather support our schools. Email him at Ralph.Buona@loudoun.gov and cc: email@example.com.
Supervisor Clarke thinks maybe teachers would rather keep their property taxes low than get their step increase on the revised salary scale. She also wonders whether parents of students where full-day kindergarten would be expanded would be more hurt by a property tax increase than helped by full-day kindergarten. (Property tax increase to fully fund the budget would cost most families around $300 per year. After-school care for a kindergartner for a year is a lot more than $300!!). Are you a teacher who lives in Loudoun? Will you have a kindergartner at Middleburg, Forest Grove, Sterling, Meadowland, or Frederick Douglass? Are you in the Blue Ridge district (Brambleton, southwest Loudoun)? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and cc: email@example.com.
Supervisor Letourneau thinks that we don't need to fix the salary scale to be competitive with our neighbors because turnover is low and our cost of living is lower. Folks, these people think they're representing you. Are they? Do you live in the Dulles district (South Riding, Loudoun Valley Estates)? Email him at Matt.Letourneau@loudoun.gov and cc: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's the kicker. Supervisor Scott York represents all of us in Loudoun County. He said that public input is taken at every Board of Supervisors business meeting, that there are public hearings coming up on February 26 in Leesburg and March 1 in Ashburn, and that is your chance to tell the Board of Supervisors what you want from them. Then, he said that the School Board's budget will not be fully funded. Hmm. Contact him too and let him know what you think about that. Email him at Scott.York@loudoun.gov and cc: email@example.com.
Maybe your supervisor didn't make the comments highlights, but you should still email him and cc firstname.lastname@example.org. Catoctin district - Geary.Higgins@loudoun.gov, Sterling district - Eugene.Delgaudio@loudoun.gov, Leesburg district - Ken.Reid@loudoun.gov (Mr. Reid was not present at the meeting).
You can also call your Supervisors at (703) 777-0204 to talk. Sign up to speak at a meeting or public hearing by calling (703) 777-0200.