Ensuring that we have a system of strong public schools is my passion. For over 30 years, I've been an advocate for students, parents, and teachers, as an elementary school teacher, PTA leader, and member of the Fairfax County School Board.
Good schools are the center of strong communities. They are an important factor in maintaining real estate values, essential to a strong economy. They provide a skilled workforce which attracts business to the area. Fairfax County Public Schools provide equal opportunity for kids from diverse backgrounds to live up to their potential; they encourage students to do amazing things; and they promote the inclusion and assimilation of our newest residents. Funding our public schools is a core requirement of local government, and in Fairfax County, 71% of the school budget comes from the county.
Since 2008, the school budget has been pared down by nearly half a billion dollars, and the result has been hundreds of positions eliminated; class size increased three separate times; programs cut; and teacher pay allowed to stagnate and fall below that of neighboring jurisdictions. The cost per pupil has remained at 2009 levels when adjusted for inflation, and the school population has increased by 13,000 students since 2011.
As Sully District supervisor, I will fight to ensure our schools receive the funding they need to remain one of the best systems in the country. From the classroom to the school board, and as a community leader and former teacher, I have fought for students, teachers and parents; and I will continue that work as a member of the Board of Supervisors.