Announcement from Fairfax County Public Schools
Statement from Fairfax County School Board Chair Karen Corbett Sanders
“There is a great deal of misinformation circulating in the community and the media regarding the School Board’s ongoing discussions around our boundary policy (Policy 8130).
The School Board work session on Monday, July 22, was the fourth meeting the Board has held to discuss the policy. All of the meetings have been advertised and open to the public.This past Monday’s discussion was delayed to allow staff time to set up an overflow room to accommodate the community members.
“The review of the boundary policy was initiated because of the issue of overcrowding at several schools, the reliance on trailers (over 700) across the county to manage overcrowding, a recognition that the current level of bond funding to support renovations and construction is not sufficient to address overcapacity in a timely manner, and that the current boundary policy has not had a comprehensive review since the 1980s. FCPS staff presented a draft policy in which “capacity surplus or deficit of an existing school” was listed as a reason to revise school boundaries. The Board’s boundary policy meetings have not included any discussion about specific boundary changes.
“The School Board has not discussed nor recommended ‘cross town’ busing of students to other schools outside their communities in the boundary policy review. Cross town busing is not an option under consideration for the policy. It should be noted that the current policy includes the consideration of walking and busing routes, busing times, and costs. FCPS provides transportation services (buses) for 110,000 students every day to and from their neighborhood schools or to special programs away from their base schools.
“The Board is not planning to decide on a new boundary policy in September. The Board has requested the superintendent to hire an outside consultant to work with the Board to identify best practices and engage the community in the discussion. The Board also requested of the superintendent to identify ‘hot’ areas that are not included in the current FCPS Capital Improvement Program but may need a boundary adjustment.”
Announcement from Monday, July 22
The Fairfax County School Board is having a work session tonight—Monday, July 22—to discuss proposed changes to boundary Policy 8130. No vote will be taken tonight.
This is the fourth meeting the Board has held to discuss the boundary policy. Last October, there was a review of common practices for boundary changes; in February, the Board reviewed educational research on boundaries and related FCPS practice. In March, the Board provided guidance on goals for a boundary policy and factors to prioritize in a boundary policy; tonight, the Board is scheduled to continue discussions on goals and prioritization of factors, and review the draft policy.
The current review of the boundary policy is part of an overall strategy to address growth in the county and overcrowding in several schools.
The School Board has been reviewing Policy 8130 to ensure equity and effectiveness when considering school boundaries.
Any potential boundary adjustment will be discussed and decided through a transparent process that engages the community.