<sh>Vote 'Yes' on School Bond
<bt>The Fairfax County School Board consists of nine members from particular districts, plus three representatives "at large" who represent the entire county. In that way, constituents have four school board members who represent them. All 12 seats are up for reelection on the November ballot.
The schools take up more than half of the county funds, and face enormous challenges (see questionnaires). It is critical that the School Board be made up of people who work well with others but who have a variety of views, approaches and areas of interest.
The nominally non-partisan school board, made up of people who care deeply about what is best for students, has been marred by partisan hostility. Five members of the current board will not be returning because they are retiring or running for other elected office.
Six candidates are running for the three at-large seats: Stephen Hunt, E.J. "Nell" Hurley, Ilryong Moon, Janet Oleszek, Lynn Terhar and Rita Thompson. Only one of those is an incumbent, Thompson.
Voters can pick three of these four to serve the Fairfax County Public Schools well: Thomson, Terhar, Moon and Oleszek.
Thompson and Terhar are very different candidates with differing views on curriculum. Thompson favors a focus on the basics and curricula that is "scientifically proven." Terhar touts the importance of a broad curriculum with many "hooks" like the arts and other electives to hold student interest in school overall. Both are energetic and positive with substantial experience and involvement, and both views are important voices on the School Board.
Moon, with experience from an earlier term on the School Board, is a Harvard-educated immigrant from Korea who came to Fairfax County with his family as a teen-ager. Moon projects the success offered by the combination of a good education and hard work. Oleszek is a state-wide activist on tax restructuring with a strong understanding of financing and the schools.
While there are questions about any school bond referendum (have we spent the money from the last two?) it is important to move forward with planning for several key projects in this year's question, especially Woodson and Glasgow. Vote "Yes" on the school bond question.