School Board State and Federal Legislative Program

Focusing on the future of education

The School Board annually adopts a legislative program to inform public officials and others of its positions on legislative policy issues of importance to Fairfax County Public Schools.  The program contains the School Board's positions on state and federal issues of major and current significance.  To help bring some focus to the most critical issues facing FCPS, the Board has identified a subset of these program positions as "priorities". 

Fairfax County School Board 2022 State Priority Positions

The Fairfax County School Board (FCSB) believes that public education should be based on a strong partnership between the Commonwealth and local school divisions, with the state supporting locally based public education. Adequate and appropriate state funding for public pre-K, elementary, and secondary education—with the state fairly sharing in the true local costs of implementing Virginia’s mandated education related programs – is critical to ensuring high quality instructional and support programs for all students in the Commonwealth.   While we understand the state’s role in setting and measuring standards, the supervision of schools and flexibility in the implementation of educational policies should remain with local school boards per the Virginia Constitution.

State Funding

The Fairfax County School Board (FCSB) supports:

  • Ongoing funding to address reductions in student population counts and funding for remediation and learning recovery services as required to address the continued effects of the pandemic
  • Funding appropriately targeted to schools and divisions with high concentrations of and significant numbers of students in poverty, English learners, and students receiving special education services
  • Addressing state funding formula imbalances and inadequacies through full restoration of the Cost of Competing adjustment for support positions; elimination of the state’s cap on support position funding; and addressing required local match provisions imbalances, especially in high cost of living jurisdictions

Graduation Requirement Flexibility

  • The FCSB supports continued graduation requirement flexibility for students in the graduating classes of 2022 through 2024 affected by the ongoing effects of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Critical Staff Shortages

  • The FCSB supports initiatives to address ongoing and acute shortages of qualified educational personnel, particularly including special education teachers and school bus drivers

College and Workforce Readiness

  • The FCSB supports ensuring students have multiple pathways to earn a diploma and the flexibility to explore career clusters of interest in preparation for postsecondary and workforce opportunities, including addressing barriers to participation for historically underrepresented populations

Assessment Reforms

Student Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Health Supports

  • The FCSB supports significantly increased and flexibly provided state resources to allow school divisions to address the specific mental, behavioral, and physical health needs of students

English Learners and Accountability

  • The FCSB supports increased funding for instructional programs for English learners, particularly for students new to the U.S. entering schools with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE), and accreditation standards recognizing the unique circumstances of SLIFE students

Early Childhood Education

  • The FCSB supports increased state per-pupil funding for pre-K programming and facilities costs

State Revenues

  • Given long standing and continued state underfunding of public education, the FCSB opposes revisions to the Commonwealth’s tax structure which reduce current or long-term revenue capacity and opposes diversion of public tax revenues to non-public education options

Fairfax County School Board 2022 Federal Priority Positions

The Fairfax County School Board (FCSB) supports full and adequate funding to implement federal mandates, such as those found in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as well as broad flexibility to empower states and localities to fulfill mandated program requirements. 

Pandemic Funding Resources

  • The FCSB supports continued federal funding to help school divisions address the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and return to school activities, including funding dedicated to remediation and learning recovery, special education services, technology and broadband provision, food and nutrition service revenue losses, social-emotional supports, and services for English learners

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

  • The FCSB supports mandatory funding for chronically underfunded special education programs to meet the federal commitment to fund 40 percent of the “excess costs” of special education as promised but never realized since the 1975 adoption of federal special education laws (currently known as IDEA).

Title I

  • The FCSB supports increased funding for the federal Title I, Part A grant within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that serves schools with the highest percentage of children from low-income families

Technology and Broadband Connectivity

  • The FCSB supports increased funding for educational technology and internet connectivity (E-Rate), including additional flexibility to use E-Rate funds for mobile internet infrastructure, devices, and connectivity for remote or at-home use.  In addition, the FCSB supports federal resources dedicated to cyber and data security for school and school division technology infrastructure

Impact Aid

  • The FCSB supports full funding for the federal Impact Aid program, which is intended to offset the local impact of Fairfax’s over 19,000 federally-connected students as well as those associated with federal military base relocation decisions

Federal Meals Reimbursement

  • The FCSB supports continuation of enhanced United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) federal reimbursement rates to continue the provision of high quality and nutritious free meals to all students

Title IX          

  • The FCSB supports repealing the U.S. Department of Education’s Final Rule under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (released May 2020), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance and in the interim returning to the pre-May Rule

 

School Board Legislative Liaisons