Letter:FW Lillis, Leesburg

Editor: This is in response to a constituent letter from Catoctin District Supervisor Caleb Kershner in which he criticizes the amount of the money spent on the schools. He says it is too much.  

It would be helpful if Mr. Kershner were to list those areas where he thinks the money is excessive or ill spent. To do less is to object simply to a number and might appear to be just another whack at schools which is a popular sport these days. It is clear from the letter that schools are his favored target.  

Another of Mr. Kershner’s objections is to the amount of new money requested for schools. From what I read, the county is growing and building new schools is one consequence. These must be adequately staffed, heated, etc., which make the request reasonable.

Mr. Kershner further states the money should help the School Board get “its house back in order.” That is an amorphous judgment without specific charges or a fair trial. The School Board, I’m certain, would welcome enlightenment on that point, as would Mr. Kersher’s constituents.  

FW Lillis, Leesburg

7 thoughts on “Letter:FW Lillis, Leesburg

  • 2022-03-21 at 9:22 pm
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    Supervisor Kershner has been too harsh with LCPS. He makes conclusory statements without proof to back up his allegations. It’s very easy to kick a dog when it’s down. But I admire Dr. Ziegler & LCSB for soldiering on. If I ever see proof they’ve acted malevolently, of course I’d call for their resignations. But so far, that hasn’t materialized. Welcome to Spring Loudoun!

    • 2022-03-24 at 10:41 am
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      Kershner makes a living as a home schooler attorney…an acolyte of Mike Farris. He’s doing what’s good for business when he criticizes public education.

  • 2022-03-21 at 10:09 pm
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    There are many areas where the school board could save money. For instance, when and why did it become the responsibility of the school system to provide three meals and a snack to families, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I understand why schools serve breakfast (in some cases) and lunch to kids while they are in school, but that has now been stretched to dinner, snack, providing meals for weekends and holidays- why? Aren’t there other organizations that provide those services. The SB is not managing this at all as school buses were delivering food to neighborhoods and just handing it out with no tracking or verifying whether or not the people taking the food even qualified for the extra help. I’ve heard people bragging that they took the food every day and gave it to the contractors who were working on their new pool and deck projects.

  • 2022-03-22 at 7:22 am
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    I agree with the writer that the BOS doesn’t spend sufficient time to understand how the school board allows large amounts of money to be spent unwisely but that doesn’t mean they spend it as state statute 22.1-79 requires it to be spent (UTMOST EFFICIENCY). BOTH boards are supposed to operate in our best interest carefully scrutinizing how every tax dollar is spent and how every student is helped by education. Here is just one example of how NEITHER board really cares about efficiency other than insuring those real estate developer campaign donations keep arriving. When a large developer looks for approval for increased density LCPS provides a referral estimating how much tax dollars will be absorbed by having to educate the estimated student population the increased density will cause. Sounds simple and fair but it isn’t and both boards know it or should know it. Every school these new students might attend depending on a potential boundary change is considered to be 100% full. This means the new school is the largest built by LCPS and the lowest cost per student is given to the BOS for reference. NONE of the schools are at 100% as the guide is to start adding capacity if they approach 85-90%. Second, there has never been an audit of the student generation formula because it DELIBERATELY under-states student generation. This can be patently proven by any large community which when finished outstripped the capacity of the reference school. There is a reason no community audit has been done. What you don’t know can be ignored by calling it an anecdotal based opinion. Again, this is just one example but ask yourself when is the last time a new school was built in coordination with expanding other pre-existing schools in the same boundary area? Was that analysis even done. There is far more to being a productive member of a board than renaming streets, taking down statues or talking about national issues which are insignificant to local education. Maybe if the majority of voters actually showed up for a local election we would see the quality of representation improve. Let’s hope! 🙂

  • 2022-03-22 at 7:33 am
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    There are 2 false assumptions in this letter. First is that the county is growing, while this is true enrollment has decreased.

    Second is that the School Board would welcome enlightment. The Board could not care less about what anyone not on the Board thinks or says. They have their own agenda and that is that.

  • 2022-03-22 at 9:45 am
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    Money could be saved if the schools stopped building sports stadiums that look like they could host professional teams. Simple grass fields with bleachers would suffice. Spend to educate students, not host lavish sporting events.

  • 2022-03-22 at 5:14 pm
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    When you criticize the LCPS budget and don’t give specifics, you get counter-criticisms from Democrats stating that you need to get specific (as this letter writer does). When you get specific and state what LCPS needs to cut, you get counter-criticisms from Democrats saying budget priorities are the School Board’s job and you shouldn’t usurp their authority.

    The bottom line is that Democrats will defend the bloated public school budgets no matter what you say.

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