Letter: Grace Saville, Leesburg

Editor: I am writing to you in response to the March 25 article, “Supervisors Cut Tax Rate, School Budget, Then Just Fund Everything Else.” As someone who grew up in the LCPS System, but is also studying to become a teacher, it’s upsetting that the Board of Supervisors decided to make this school budget cut. 

Here’s the thing: just three months ago, theUS News and World Reportnamed Loudoun County as the #1 richest county in the US, #6 in “healthiest communities,” and #5 in “urban counties with high performing economies.” So, then, why are we cutting the school systems budget by $17,205,187 and funding everything else? To get the “real estate tax rate below $1?”

Your article also states that teachers will still get a 4% raise this year, and the minimum raise to secure state matching funds. Your article also has the supervisor stating that “what our teachers went through this year is not comparable. […] I have full respect for what our county employees have done.” So, then why, when teachers have gone above and beyond, has the minimum become our standard for teachers pay and educational funding?

Additionally, according to a Newsroom report in 2017, “individuals with higher education levels earn more, pay more taxes, and are more likely than others to be employed and to have job benefits such as retirement and health insurance.”It is seen that a young person’s education is what will set them up for a possible lifetime of success. So, why are we then minimizing our education fund? Why are we not putting more money into education to improve it that much more?

Also, what is one of the first departments that will get cut from schools who are lacking money? It certainly won’t be science, technology, engineering, or math due to the county’s push towards STEM-centered curriculum. So, the most likely departments will be elective courses, specifically the arts. I advocated an increase in arts education funding when I was still in high school, but the arts are important now more than ever. The arts have been a way for students to express themselves and have conversations about difficult topics. Isn’t that what students need right now, an outlet and conversations about their difficult questions? Additionally, in the book “Teach Like a Championby Doug Lemov, it is pointed out that arts education helps close the achievement gap, achieve higher-order thinking, deeper insight, positive behavior, independence, and, of course creativity-all things that are beneficial to any student.

So I ask the board this: as the richest county in the nation, why are we deciding to cut our school budget by $17,205,187? It will undermine our teachers, students, and the overall ability to give students the best and most well-rounded education possible.

Grace Saville, Leesburg

7 thoughts on “Letter: Grace Saville, Leesburg

  • 2021-03-26 at 1:12 pm
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    Holy cow. That’s a whole-lotta detachment from reality in one screed.

    Responding to everything you wrote would be pointless. But I must ask this… how is a Year-over-Year budget increase a “cut?”

    What was removed amounts to little more than a 1% reduction from the massively-inflated ask from LCPS.

    The BoS should have started from either a zero-based perspective OR cut 20% and forced the SB and LCPS to justify every penny beyond that number.

    Loudoun taxpayers aren’t some unlimited source of money… one that can be endlessly tapped in order to fun the county “leadership’s” pet constituents. Enough is enough.

    This county desperately needs true leadership. And letter writers such as this should be dismissed for being out of touch with the realities of today’s world.

  • 2021-03-26 at 7:42 pm
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    Wow, this letter is amazingly ignorant of real world information.
    The teachers “only” got a 4% raise? How about the hundreds of thousands of employees who are either laid off or their jobs have gone away due to the COVID situation? The small business owners who had to close their businesses?
    I appreciate teachers as much as anyone, but if you think they did anything remotely heroic this school year, you are woefully misinformed. My kids keep complaining that their teachers logs into Zoom for a few minutes, gives the kids an assignment and logs off, saying “email me if you need anything”. The teachers have had it very, very, easy compared to most people in LoCo. They never had to worry about their jobs and they have only had to teach 4 days a week, still get all the holidays and other miscellaneous days off, actually even more than usual. Now the teacher’s union is talking about making Monday’s off a permanent thing? Hilarious. Time to wake up, Grace. The heroes are at your hospitals, not in our classrooms.

  • 2021-03-27 at 2:00 pm
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    Since the LCPS board is now a political organization it’s no longer concerned with bettering education. The focus now is diversity and equity. This lowers standards for both the arts and stem. So you see we don’t need teachers that teach to high standards and take pride in their profession any longer in LCPS.

  • 2021-03-28 at 2:31 pm
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    Spare us all.

    The employees at the supermarkets, Walmart and first responders have more courage in their pinky’s than the “brave” teachers at home “educating” on a lap top.

    Pathetic.

  • 2021-03-28 at 6:23 pm
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    The fact that the author is studying to become a teacher is frightening. She doesn’t have a basic grasp of grammar even when writing a letter to the editor. One would assume she would at least try to proofread or edit such a published opinion. Our kids are in trouble with more incompetent teachers like this coming their way.

  • 2021-03-31 at 9:17 am
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    What is the pay per hour received by LCPS staff including discounted medical benefit program, automatic tax free contribution to pension, paid vacation and paid sick days and snow days? Why isn’t the FACT that the state literally takes hundreds of millions from Loudoun due from sales taxes collected every year via the composite index part of your concern? Why is a reduction in a requested increase in budget in a year enrollment went down considered a “CUT”? 🙂

  • 2021-04-05 at 4:01 pm
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    Since most of these jobs are not 12 month occupations why aren’t we looking at the income per hour being earned including factoring in the automatic tax free pension contribution which is above the salary schedule and paid vacation and sick time and snow days. How did the school board manage to approve all the $1.4 billion budget when most schools were closed during the fiscal year? Why didn’t the BOS even challenge the school board on how they could spend millions on fuel for buses which weren’t even running? Loudoun is already taxed over 39% more than the rest of Virginia so where is the fairness in claiming residents don’t already support the school system generously?

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