LCI to be Unfrozen by Governor McDonnell

Good news!  I just received the following from Delegate Jackson  Miller:

Today, Governor Bob McDonnell announced that he will undo the freeze to the Local Composite Index that former Governor Tim Kaine proposed before he left office.  Prince William County, Manassas City, and Manassas Park City Schools would have suffered greatly had he not made this bold move in support of our schools throughout the Commonwealth.  I applaud Governor McDonnell for his leadership and thank him on behalf of our community. 
Below is the press release from the Governor’s office: 



Governor McDonnell to Undo Proposed Freeze of Local Composite Index

-Introduced Budget Froze LCI for First Time –

Governor Identifies Savings to Allow for Annual Update to Index


RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that he will support updating the Local Composite Index (LCI), the formula which determines state and local education funding responsibility, in the upcoming budget.  The move will mean another proposed change to the introduced budget, which froze the LCI at its current level. The LCI has historically always been adjusted every two years to account for changing local economic conditions. The proposal to freeze the Index was unprecedented, and would have cost certain localities in Northern Virginia $128.3 million in state education funding.

Speaking about his decision, Governor McDonnell stated, “For nearly forty years, the Local Composite Index has been an impartial means by which to determine state and local responsibility for education funding in Virginia. The application of this Index has always been done in an objective manner, using the most recent fiscal data to most fairly apportion state resources. For many school districts, particularly in Northern Virginia, the biennial update of the Index has meant far less funding from the state than that received by school districts in localities experiencing lesser rates of economic growth. Accordingly, I will not support the proposed freeze in the budget introduced by the previous Administration. The Local Composite Index must be applied to all localities, at all times, in the same objective and fair manner by which it has always been utilized.”

McDonnell continued, “The decision to continue to update the Local Composite Index is one that I reached after extensive meetings with my finance staff, legislators, and local government officials. I thank all these individuals for their input and thoughts during the process. Ensuring that we have a fair formula that is implemented without regard to temporary or political considerations is the best means by which to appropriate education funding in the Commonwealth. Every time the Index is readjusted some school systems gain funding, while others receive less. This has occurred for nearly forty years, and local officials understand the routine and objective biennial implementation of the Index.”

In announcing his decision to undo the proposed freeze of the Index, McDonnell also identified specific budget savings to account for the additional state spending required. The update will cost the state $29 million in FY 2011. To cover this increased funding, McDonnell will recommend to the General Assembly the transfer of $13 million from Literary Fund balances; $8 million through the use of available balances in the Health Insurance Fund to reduce state health insurance premiums; $5.2 million will be found in Real ID savings and an available $3 million will be captured in additional Non-General Fund balances.  Budget recommendations will continue to be made and communicated to the legislature in the coming days.


A big thank you to Jackson Miller for the notification.  He knew some of us here were clamoring  for Governor McDonnell to remove the freeze.  Also a big thank you to Poor Richard for raising the level of concern here on this blog. 

Another Perfect Storm Headed our Way?



The weather forecast is becoming more ominous for our area.  2 storm systems are converging.  One storm is coming in from the north and the other from the south.  They are predicted to meet over the Atlantic Ocean, right off the coast as 2 low pressure systems.  The end result doesn’t sound good at all. 

Between 5-10 inches of new snow is predicted from this storm.  While not carrying the moisture that Snowmaggedon contained, this storm is predicted to be more meteorologically intense with much higher winds.  According to the Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post:


When will the snow start? Between mid-day and mid-afternoon tomorrow.

When it will end? Probably around late afternoon Wednesday — later north and east.

How much?: Our best bet is 5-10″ in the metro region, but 8-14″ as you head north and east towards Baltimore. South and southwest of the Fairfax County, 3-6″ is most likely.

Could it be more or less? Yes. Double digit totals (10″ or more) remain a possibility throughout the metro region (25% chance). By the same token, if the coastal storm forms too far north, lighter amounts from 1-5″ or so might do it.

How bad will the winds be? By very late Tuesday night and into Wednesday, sustained winds may reach 25-35 mph, with higher gusts. Assuming there is falling snow, this could create blizzard conditions.

This new storm spells trouble and danger,  People will be out of work, kids will be out of school.  People who work hourly will not get paid.  High winds put power lines and trees at further risk.  Roofs will be further stressed.   Municipalities and VDOT will be further strapped with snow removal costs as crews continue their round the clock pushing, digging and scraping.  Power workers will continue to work to get electricity back on.  Some folks will be a week without power when all of this is over.  It is a dangerous time of year to be without electricity.  Even those with gas heat won’t have it because there will be nothing to run the fans.

Let’s hope this prediction is wrong.

On a sad note, Rep. John Murtha has died of complications of gall bladder surgery.  He was 77 years old.

The New Political Correctness and Rahm Emanuel

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has come under fire from all corners over his mouth flashing…again. This time it is not over your usual F-bombs, but over the use of the word ‘retarded.’

According to the LA Times:

In an unguarded moment, Emanuel had referred to a group of liberal Democrats as “retarded.” When reports of the remark began circulating, the former Chicago congressman — already famous for his foxhole profanity — moved to express his regret and promised to help leaders of the disabled community sensitize the public on the issue.

Actually, there might have been an expletive in front of the word in question.

Sarah Palin, mother of a child with Downs Syndrome, got very indignant and had the following to say:

I would ask the president to show decency in this process by eliminating one member of that inner circle, Mr. Rahm Emanuel, and not allow Rahm’s continued indecent tactics to cloud efforts. Yes, Rahm is known for his caustic, crude references about those with whom he disagrees, but his recent tirade against participants in a strategy session was such a strong slap in many American faces that our president is doing himself a disservice by seeming to condone Rahm’s recent sick and offensive tactic.

The Obama Administration’s Chief of Staff scolded participants, calling them, “F—ing retarded,” according to several participants, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the “N-word” or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities — and the people who love them — is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking.

A patriot in North Andover, Massachusetts, notified me of Rahm’s “retarded” slam. I join this gentleman, who is the father of a beautiful child born with Down Syndrome, in asking why the Special Olympics, National Down Syndrome Society and other groups condemning Rahm’s degrading scolding have been completely ignored by the White House. No comment from his boss, the president?

SNL, always on top of all things political, did the following skit, mocking Emanuel:


 I have to ask, when did ‘retarded’ become a bad word? It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that the word was used without anyone blinking. There were kids in EMR classes (Educable Mentally Retarded). I understand that calling someone ‘retard’ is rude. It always has been. However, saying that the Smiths have a retarded child seems rather harmless to me. Retarded, developmentally delayed, intellectually challenged, all words or phrases which mean that an individual has somewhat diminished intellectual capacity, seem to be words we must tiptoe around. I am not sure what I should say and not say. As long as we are being polite and not cussing and carrying on, why have some of these words become verboten? Who gets to decide what is polite and what isn’t or what is politically correct?

I find it increasingly difficult to keep up with PC. I feel certain I have been unintentionally offensive.