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Fiscal Irresponsibility of LCPS Planning Staff

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by CuriousGo, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    This latest proposal helps telegraph the REAL reason...it's okay to send Lansdowne to school in Ashburn, but NOT Leesburg. Anything but that!
    Also, even with this plan, the BoS does not set boundaries. If this plan is approved, I can all but guarantee Lansdowne will still fight to stay at StoneBridge and want to move the Farm out.
    This is a simple bait and switch tactic Waters is trying to pull now.
     
  2. Brassy

    Brassy Hiyah

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    what I find funny about the Lansdowne issue with the parents, is that every time the information comes out about the best performing schools in Loudoun County, Loudoun County High School in Leesburg is at the top of the list. SBHS is usually about 6th in rank.
     
  3. Buffettbassman

    Buffettbassman Troll Extrordinare'

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    Here was my e-mail:

    Dear Supervisors and School Board Members,

    My family and I are residents of the Ashburn Farm Community. In fact, we can see Stone Bridge High School from our front door across Hay Road. My wife and I urge the School Board and the Board of Supervisors, in the strongest terms possible, to support high school attendance boundary plans 564 and 592. .

    Further, we are very saddened that this has denigrated into an Ashburn Farm vs. Lansdowne issue. It’s a extremely unfortunate that our elected officials fail to consider real and tangible impact this will have on our children by dividing two communities located so close together. We honestly don’t see how this can be perceived any other way than the Ashburn Farm children being kicked out of their school by the Landsdowne children. Children being who they are, will not intellectualize this by discerning the impersonal nature of such a decision. Logic, if there is any to be applied to the displacement of Ashburn Farm children from their community school, will not reign. They instead will personalize this…and they will react as today’s youth so often does.

    Again, we voice our support for high school attendance boundary plans 564 and 592.


    Mr and Mrs. Buffettbassman
    1 Margaritaville Way
    Ashburn Farm
    Ashburn, Virginia
    20147
    555-555-5555 (it's 5 o'clock somewhere)
     
  4. Ozgood

    Ozgood Not a space alien

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    Not sure I understand what you are getting at here. Could you explain?
     
  5. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    Some of the Lansdowne parents at the hearing on Wednesday night had indicated that their children were being harrassed at Stone Bridge by the other kids. Apparently this issue has made its way into the high school (remember there are AF kids that may be displaced by this). I guess, kids being kids, they are interpreting this situation and acting as they see fit.
     
  6. Buffettbassman

    Buffettbassman Troll Extrordinare'

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    Sure...when in high school, I had the same thing happen. Kids from both schools frequently would fight over this issue... some got very violent. The point was made very clearly... I expect the same thing will happen if the Ashburn Farms Kids are displaced from "their" high school. Time will prove me wrong.

    But I admit...I went to a high school where we had armed police officers in the hallways back in the 70's. :scaredeyes:

    I guess if you had ask what I meant...you don't know how emotional teenagers can be over issues like this. Especially if you have teenage boys who are ready to throw down at the drop of a hat.
     
  7. Buffettbassman

    Buffettbassman Troll Extrordinare'

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    See what I mean! Like I said...I have teenagers in the schools. I hear from them it's happening. It will only escalate.
     
  8. sp1568

    sp1568 New Member

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    My gut is telling me the same thing. I speculate that it will end up being proposed that Village kids will be sent east to this new HS (across from the Ice House, on Smiths Switch? can someone confirm?), followed by Farm kids to Broad Run, leaving room at Stone Bridge for Lansdowne.

    There it is in a nice, neat package. Time will tell.
     
  9. lilpea

    lilpea Member

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    Buffettbassman, I watched the public input last week (yes until 11:30PM) and I was shocked to learn how many times Ashburn Farm children have been re-districted. This is utterly amazing and unacceptable. Supervisor Water's reason or lack there of to accelerate HS6 is unacceptable. Her subsequent conduct towards her fellow members of the BoS really shows her arrogance. The 'plan' was HS7 (Dulles South) first, but Water's own plan to build HS6 is solely responsible for driving a wedge between several communities (Lansdowne, Ashburn Farm, South Riding etc) and her actions are conplict. Shame on your Supervisor Waters, shame on you.
     
  10. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    I don't think a lot of people realize where the Broad Run district is (Waters and Onheisers). They actually "represent" a vast majority of Ashburn Farm and I think ALL of Ashburn Village. Here is a link to the Broad Run district:

    http://www.loudoun.gov/Portals/0/docs/Maps/broadrun.pdf
     
  11. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Broad Run District encompasses Ashburn Village, Belmont CC, Lansdowne, and about 40% of Ashburn Farm. That is why Waters/Ohneiser are happy to throw the Farm under the bus....the rest of their constituents, which is the vast majority of the voters, are not harmed by this plan.
     
  12. Buffettbassman

    Buffettbassman Troll Extrordinare'

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    Mrs. Waters Respose:

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Buffettbassman,


    This situation is very complex. I actually raised concerns about the lack of seats in the Dulles North area months ago, which is why I started talking about HS-6 in relation to the overall Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and capacity issues we will be facing in the Ashburn/Dulles schools. Every school and county plan had always said that HS-6 would relieve Stone Bridge, Broad Run, and Briar Woods. Further examination of the student numbers also shows severe overcrowding at the elementary and middle school levels. The proposed school boundary plan presented by LCPS planning staff was created completely separate from my discussions about the CIP, and, as you know, school boundary decisions are the exclusive prerogative of the School Board.

    At the Board's finance committee meeting on Wednesday, Superintendent Hatrick raised significant concerns about the community plan 592. Student numbers and capacities are not the only consideration when assigning school boundaries. He said that the school system tries to achieve a socio-economic mix in the schools for numerous reasons. Plan 592 would result in having nearly half of the student population in Heritage HS from the lower socio-economic end of the scale. He said that this would create staff and teaching problems in that school. They could also have difficulty achieving the No Child Left Behind requirements.

    I did put forward a compromise plan, which would have included community engagement, to the Board of Supervisors at our March 25 budget session. It certainly wasn't perfect, but could have served as the basis for a greater community discussion regarding overcrowding in all of our schools in Ashburn. The item is attached. For reasons I cannot understand, the majority of Supervisors opposed even a discussion in a committee. However, there may be an opportunity to revisit this idea at an upcoming meeting. Thank you for sharing your concerns, and please let me know what you think about the attached compromise plan, which has also been shared with all the school board members.

    Sincerely,
    Lori Waters
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Buffettbassman

    Buffettbassman Troll Extrordinare'

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    I'm speechless on that reply...
     
  14. redon1

    redon1 aka Aphioni

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    hmm. sounds to ME like they think students in a particular socio-economical category achieve LESS and misbehave MORE. could there BE any other interpretation of this statement?!? :angryfire:

    funny, growing up i was poor as dirt and got A's and NEVER got in trouble. it was the kids driving trans ams and wearing calvin klein that could afford pot and alcohol. THAT must be it- they don't want too many RICH kids in one school- it's all clear to me now!
     
  15. Buffettbassman

    Buffettbassman Troll Extrordinare'

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    This from Stevens Miller:

    Thanks for your note.

    Parents have made it plain to me how important it is that their children remain in one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school. Equally important to many of them is that each of those schools be close to their homes, and that their children's friends in homes nearby attend the same schools as their own kids do. The frequent changes in boundaries, brought on by mismanaged residential growth, have moved children, resulted in long bus rides, and split communities. While boundaries are decided by the school board, I stand with the people of Loudoun and of Dulles who have pointed out that options exist that will preserve community integrity, keep our kids close to home, and use our existing capacity efficiently. I do not see preservation of the "feeder" system as a priority that should be allowed to override the best interests of our communities nor of the families who live in them. Frequent boundary changes can be avoided with good long-range planning. I will do whatever I can to cooperate with the school board in planning for the future in a way that does what's best for our kids.

    Best Wishes,

    Stevens Miller
    Supervisor, Dulles
     
  16. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    Waters is just going to beat this horse until it's beyond decomposed. I would be embarrassed to be in her district.
     
  17. Chsalas

    Chsalas Member

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    :deadhorse::deadhorse::deadhorse:
     
  18. mdcrim

    mdcrim Member

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    I guess this isn't over-actually it looks like it's just beginning. Check out the latest e-mail from Jim Burton:



    To all those who have written the Board on the subject of HS-6 and the current Central Loudoun budget discussion:

    Thank you all for your emails. I wish that I could answer each of you individually (as has been my past practice), but the sheer volume of emails on the subject combined with those regarding the budget has made that impossible. Last week, a majority of the Board of Supervisors indicated its unwillingness to pursue this subject within the context of the current budget discussion. Instead, the two Boards will hold a joint meeting at 4 pm on Monday, April 13th in the County Government Center for initial discussions of how best to plan for the long-term school needs for central Loudoun children. At that time I look forward to participating in a fruitful, structured, and fact-based discussion of the subject.

    At this time, however, I would like to address some myths and misperceptions that have emerged in the dialogue.

    First, school boundaries are determined solely by the School Board. The Board of Supervisors has absolutely no direct role in such debates and decisions (nor would members want one, we already have enough controversy on our plate with tax rates and land use issues). The only role the Board of Supervisors plays in boundary discussions is the decisions it makes about when to fund new school capacity (such as the offer to fund HS-2 and HS-4 in the same fiscal year) and whether particular sites are suitable for schools (such as the decision to deny a Special Exception to build HS-7 and MS-5 on the Lenah property owned by Greenvest).

    Second, the operating budget of an accelerated HS-6 would have had absolutely no impact on the current year's budget or tax rate. Such an impact occurs in the year the school opens. If we are still in a recession at that time, then high school capacity is the least of the problems facing the County, problems that would have already resulted in further reductions and postponements to the CIP. Thus, accusations of fiscal irresponsibility are unwarranted and inappropriate and could be made against any project in the current CIP, all of which will be funded by debt in an unknown future and none of which impact this year's budget or tax rate.

    Third, at no time did the Board of Supervisors direct Dr. Hatrick and the School Board to adopt a CIP that contained no projects in FY'10. That was an independent decision made between Dr. Hatrick and former County Administrator Kirby Bowers.

    Fourth, based on bids the School Board received for the construction of Woodgrove and Tuscarora High Schools, construction costs are down by one-fourth of what was expected (both schools came in at in the mid-$50 million). Thus, an acceleration of HS-6 could very well result in far lower construction costs than the $80-100 million estimates in the CIP.

    Finally, full utilization of existing capacity is a worthy goal, as are stable boundaries, and community-based schools. When even a built-out County like Fairfax must occasionally undertake a system-wide boundary adjustment for its high schools (as it did last year), it is well nigh impossible to expect a fast-growing County like Loudoun to fully balance all three goals. That said, I personally place a greater priority on limiting boundary changes than on full utilization of capacity. Had I not, either Freedom or Dominion would have opened at a later date to the greater cost of both the taxpayer and the children.

    I hope this information is helpful in providing clarity with regards to the actual situation and to my position on the matter.

    Best regards,

    Jim Burton
    Supervisor, Blue Ridge District
     
  19. Buffettbassman

    Buffettbassman Troll Extrordinare'

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    Guess we found out where the other "mole" was.
    :sniper:
     
  20. wahoogeek

    wahoogeek New Member

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    Jim Burton has always been at Lori Water's side on this, don't know why but he's sticking to her like glue.
     

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