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Education Notebook - 01/08/03

Budget Debate Begins

<bt>Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Domenech will discuss the school system's FY '04 budget at a press conference, 10 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Burkholder Center, 10700 Page Ave. in Fairfax.

Domenech will provide the highlights of the proposed budget and distribute detailed budget information and answer questions from the media.

The budget will be formally presented to the School Board later that evening during its regularly scheduled business meeting, at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road in Falls Church, beginning at 7 p.m. The meeting will be carried live by Channel 21 on Cox Communications cable television.

Then Friday, Jan. 10, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., Domenech will host an interactive discussion on the proposed FY '04 budget on washingtonpost.com's Live Online.

Domenech will be available to discuss current issues concerning the school system including the FY '04 budget, the capital improvement plan and the continuing cost-saving initiatives.

Questions for the online forum can be submitted in advance at www.washingtonpost.com.

<sh>Superintendents to Lobby

<bt>A press conference will be held by Virginia school superintendents, Monday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m., at the Virginia Capitol Building, to lobby for the funding of all educational programs.

All 133 superintendents are expected to be together to deliver the message which asks lawmakers to avoid funding cuts that will jeopardize the progress being made on standardized tests; to meet obligations to students by funding the basic educational requirements established by the General Assembly; and to consider alternative sources of revenue in order to provide the quality education that is required for all students to be successful.

<sh>Minorities Closing Achievement Gap

<bt>Minority students in Fairfax County Public Schools achieved aggregate gains over the past five years on the Stanford Achievement Test Ninth Edition (Stanford 9 TA) administered this fall.

The black population showed the greatest aggregate five-year gain with a total increase of 199 percentile points. Asian students scores increased 145 points, Hispanic students scores increased 131 points and white students scores increased 87 points.

Hispanic students showed the most significant gains over the previous year with increases of three or more percentile points in all 10 testing areas and an aggregate gain of 59 percentile points.

Asian and white students scored at or above the 50th percentile on all tests. Hispanic students scored at or above the 50th percentile on 23 of the 30 tests; on 22 of the 30 in 2002; on 21 of the 30 in 2001; on 14 of the 30 in 2000; and on 16 of the 30 in 1999. Black students scored at or above the 50th percentile on 19 of the 30 tests and were 16 of 30 in 2002, 11 of 30 in 2001, 7 of 30 in 2000 and 4 of the 30 in 1999.

Over the five-year period, black students narrowed the achievement gap by 112 aggregate percentile points, with Asian students narrowing the gap by 58 points and Hispanic students by 44 points.

The Stanford 9 TA is a nationally normed achievement test that was administered to students in grades four, six and nine in October. The tests are required by the Virginia Department of Education as part of the Virginia State Assessment program.

<sh>FCPS Events Calendar

<bt>Wednesday, Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m.

Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee meeting. Walnut Hill Center, 7423 Camp Alger Ave., Falls Church.

Thursday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m.

School Board regular business meeting, budget presentation. Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.

Monday, Jan. 13

Third grading period begins for modified elementary calendar Fairfax County Public Schools.

Monday, Jan. 13, 8:30 a.m.

School Board work session, technology; facilities; finance & budget; strategic planning & evaluation; human resources; instruction. Burkholder Center, 10700 Page Ave., Fairfax.

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m.

School Health Advisory Committee meeting. Devonshire Center, 2831 Graham Road, Falls Church.

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 7:30 p.m.

* Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee meeting. Lacey Center, 3705 Crest Drive, Annandale.

* Adult and Community Education Advisory Committee meeting. Pimmit Adult Center, 7510 Lisle Ave., Falls Church.

* Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities meeting. Belle Willard Center, 10310 Layton Hall Drive, Fairfax.

Monday, Jan. 20

Martin Luther King Jr. holiday for all Fairfax County Public Schools.