Six months ago, Support Our Schools - Loudoun was formed after the Board of Supervisors first announced its intention to set the tax rate at the equalized rate or lower. We started by getting informed on the budget process in October and asked the Board of Supervisors to advertise a tax rate that would give the Board flexibility to invest more in our schools. Then the LCPS staff proposed its budget, and we lobbied the School Board to pass many of the needed improvements through. Both efforts were successful, and we gathered even more supporters to lobby the Board of Supervisors to fully fund the proposed School Board budget. That effort failed.
Now, we are left to help the School Board decide where to cut $38 million from the budget we fought so hard for. It's difficult for us and for them. There are no easy cuts. Everything affects somebody.
Still, at the public hearings for both boards, there were themes heard over and over: raise teachers salaries, expand full day kindergarten to more schools, improve bandwidth at all schools, and reduce elementary school class sizes.
Remind them of our priorities. Make sure to let your School Board members know what they are whether the items are currently on the proposed cut list or not. If you don't want them cutting something that's not on the cut list, still let them know that. If you don't want them cutting something that is on the cut list, it'd be a great help to let them know a new item not on the list you'd cut instead.
The School Board will continue their budget reconciliation discussion on Tuesday, April 8 at the regular School Board meeting. Public input is accepted at that meeting. Additionally, a public hearing and work session is scheduled for Wednesday, April 9 as needed. If additional meetings are needed after that, they will be scheduled at a later date. Both meetings are at 6:30pm at the School Admin building in Ashburn. To sign up to speak either night, call (571) 252-1020 in advance or register at the door prior to 6:30pm.
You can also reach your School Board members by phone or email and some on Facebook. School Board member Tom Reed represents everyone, otherwise they each represent their voting district. If emailing, you may want to also cc the whole School Board at email@example.com.
Eric Hornberger (Chair), Ashburn District 571-291-5685 Eric.Hornberger@lcps.org
Jill Turgeon (Vice Chair), Blue Ridge District 571-420-3818 Jill.Turgeon@lcps.org
Debbie Rose, Algonkian District 571-291-5983 Debbie.Rose@lcps.org
Kevin Kuesters, Broad Run District 571-420-1818 Kevin.Kuesters@lcps.org
Jennifer Bergel, Catoctin District 571-223-9724 Jennifer.Bergel@lcps.org
Jeff Morse, Dulles District 571-420-2243 Jeff.Morse@lcps.org
Bill Fox, Leesburg District 571-420-0721 Bill.Fox@lcps.org
Brenda Sheridan, Sterling District 571-233-0307 Brenda.Sheridan@lcps.org
Thomas Reed, At Large 571-223-9928 Thomas.Reed@lcps.org