Are you a parent? Do you live in Northern Virginia? Then please pay attention. This innocuous sounding announcement popped out on the day of the meeting.

The Fairfax County School Board is having a work session tonight—Monday, July 22—to discuss proposed changes to boundary Policy 8130. No vote will be taken tonight.

This is the fourth meeting the Board has held to discuss the boundary policy.  Last October, there was a review of common practices for boundary changes; in February, the Board reviewed educational research on boundaries and related FCPS practice. In March, the Board provided guidance on goals for a boundary policy and factors to prioritize in a boundary policy; tonight, the Board is scheduled to continue discussions on goals and prioritization of factors, and review the draft policy.

The current review of the boundary policy is part of an overall strategy to address growth in the county and overcrowding in several schools.

The School Board has been reviewing Policy 8130 to ensure equity and effectiveness when considering school boundaries.

Any potential boundary adjustment will be discussed and decided through a transparent process that engages the community.  (from here)

Was the meeting as innocuous as it sounded? Well, lots of people did not think so. Standing room for heated school board meeting on proposal to change school boundary policy (wjla.com) carefully reports the number of people that showed up, but we are left guessing as to why exactly. WMAL’s “Mornings on the Mall,” however, had an an interview today with one of the Fairfax County School Board members, Elizabeth Schultz. Here is a link to the audio: 8am – D   INTERVIEW – Elizabeth Schultz – a Springfield District member of the Fairfax County School Board in Virginia – discussed the heated debate about Fairfax County’s potential school boundary changes.

Note this sentence from the meeting announcement.

The School Board has been reviewing Policy 8130 to ensure equity and effectiveness when considering school boundaries.

Policy 8130 is referenced in School Boundary Adjustments: Everything you need to know about school boundary information, including the boundary locator. Because school boundary decisions his effect where children go to school, they affect where parents buy their homes. So they effect property values. Therefore, school boundary decisions effect everyone, and they are highly political. To mitigate the fury of the losers, the School Board has to have a policy that at least seems fair to everyone. Policy 8130 describes that policy for Fairfax County Public Schools. Unfortunately, when the Fairfax County School Board starts talking about “equity” and “effectiveness,” Fairfax County residents worry about how their school board defines those terms. Is it about Social Engineering or just Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic?

What happens in Fairfax County eventually finds its way into the other counties that surround it. Unfortunately, we in Prince William County are not immune to the same social forces that afflict our neighbors. We just have more time to rally ourselves before either we too are overcome or we find the means to resist.

Are you a parent? Do you want to instill your own beliefs and values into your children, or do you want strangers to instill their values into your children? If you want the job, then you are going to have to fight for the right to do the job.

Here is a video of the school board meeting. The discussion of the Policy 8130 is right up front, but it is fairly lengthy. Boundary decisions, as one board member observes, is the third rail for school boards (see the second definition here). Leaves you wondering why it would not be easier just to pick your own school in a private market. School vouchers anyone?

Note: It gets interesting when Schultz finally gets to comment at 26 minutes into the video.

When I checked the school board’s website (here), the links to the minutes were not yet available.

Note that the lady following Schultz asked a few questions that revealed that new policy lacks clarity. The words sound good, but what do they mean in practice.

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  1. You are split on that home values sre affected by school board boundary decisions.

    Bet the changes made will.hae a direct correlation to family incomes.

    Regards and goodwill blogging 00

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