When the Prince William Board of County Supervisors meet again on Aug. 3, they will vote on whether or not to grant the school board $1 million for class size reduction.
The agreement is contingent upon the school division matching that $1 million with its own $1 million for class size reduction, but not signing upon the school board signing a memorandum of agreement.
Potomac Supervisor, Maureen Caddigan, who proposed the legislation, is willing to approve it even without the MOA. She hopes it will gain support of enough supervisors to pass next week.
At the July 12 Board of County Supervisors meeting, Caddigan withdrew the motion to vote on the $1 million for class size reduction after supervisors disagreed on whether the grant should be accompanied by a the signing of the MOA.
Supervisors Jeanine Lawson (Brentsville-R), Peter Candland (Gainesville-R) and Ruth Anderson (Coles-R) said the supervisors should require the school board put the agreement in writing. With Chairman Corey Stewart (R) and Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi (R) absent, it would have likely been a tie vote.
While on the dais, Lawson explained she was only asking the school board to do what it had done in the past.
However, this year, the school division has new legal council, who is advising the school board against signing the agreement, noting that the Virginia Constitution declares elected school board are independent of their county boards.
Supervisor Candland explained that he and Lawson originally proposed these grants. Candland said it would be a sign of good faith to the taxpayers for the school board to sign the agreement even if it could not be legally enforced.
Furthermore, he said the details of the deal were still being hotly debated, adding that the supervisors are not obligated to provide the money just because the school board had mistakenly expected it.
But other supervisors, hoped to have the issue resolved over the summer, saying the funds were needed to hire new teachers.
It’s really time for the pissing contest between Ryan Sawyers and Pete Candland to be over. Pete, call off your other two pack followers and let’s just do what’s best for the kids. Ryan, stop poking at the bear.
I know what it is like to have 38 kids in a classroom. I had that many in an algebra class about a decade ago, not once but twice. The quality of instruction drops with every student over 25. You can’t reach kids with problems or their parents. There aren’t enough hours in the day. You can’t address individual questions. Grading becomes increasingly difficult and turn around time is longer for students to get feedback. Moving about the room is difficult even in classes that don’t have 38 kids. The desks are still there.
A million dollars only gets you 10 teachers. That’s a drop in the bucket in Prince William County. The problem didn’t just start either. I have been retired 9 years. Class size was horrible before I pulled the plug. However, PWC needs to start somewhere. It needs to do it today. Suck it up, taxpayers. A few more dollars a month to fix this problem is just going to have to happen. The retirees also have to suck it up. I don’t want to hear that lame old excuse that I keep hearing out of the Gainesville supervisor. It just doesn’t fly with me. I am a retiree. If I have so few assets that I can’t invest in education in my community, I need to move or at least apply for tax relief.
No MOU is needed. Everyone knows what the money is for. Pete and ladies–stop trying to bully the school board. The money isn’t for them. It’s ultimately for the kids.
Put aside all the petty bickering and listen to Mrs. Caddigan. She has always been a defender of kids and teachers.
Ask the people who are in there doing the job darn few of our supervisors and school board members could do–TEACH!