Today’s Washington Post article on the School Board race illustrates the stark choices that voters are offered this fall—the choice between candidates who will advocate solely for the “haves” and those who will advocate for the “have-nots.”
While I admire Catherine Lorenze's extensive efforts to be an advocate for change, I cannot sit idly by as she claims that some of our county’s most vulnerable students are “making out like bandits.”
I grew up as a FCPS student from a wealthier part of the county. But I had parents who could support me, and the education I experienced at all levels was top notch despite the many obstacles our teachers encounter every day.
In parts of Fairfax County, single parents work multiple jobs to pay the rent and don’t have the time (or English proficiency) to help their children with homework. They don’t have the time to attend PTA meetings or School Board meetings, and even if they had the time they couldn’t even afford the gas to travel across the county to them.
Our School Board members need to advocate on behalf of these parents. They need to give all of our students a fighting chance to succeed in life. And they need to do their part to counter the menacing racial and socio-economic disparities that still exist in society. To be blind to these social ills is selfishness at its worst.
The idea that students in an economically disadvantaged part of the county receive increasing school funding is critical to narrowing the achievement gap. I intend to continue the work of our School Board to close the gaps inherent in a system that has students from all corners of the economic spectrum, even if it means allowing for class-size disparities in my neighborhood. After all, public servants should be spending most of their effort helping those who need it most.