<bt>To the Editor:
Thank you for your article in the Oct. 16 issue, "Weighing Bonds for the Schools." Public awareness is critical to the success of the bond referendum and in an election year with a seeming record number of political races, this important bond could certainly be lost in the mix without your assistance.
This $290 million school bond will add 228 more classrooms around the county, as well as fund critical security, technology and infrastructure improvements. There are still more than 14,000 students depending on the use of trailers for classrooms, with enrollments projected to increase by more than 15,000 students over the next seven years adding to overcrowding. Improvements at schools with the greatest need will be funded through the bond and are determined by a thorough facilities analysis by independent consultants, with priorities then set forth in the capital improvement plan. This bond funding is essential if we are to meet the current and future needs of our student population and maintain our existing buildings.
However, a successful school bond referendum doesn't just benefit our children. For Fairfax County, excellent schools and facilities contribute both to quality education and provide economic value to the entire community. They attract and retain topflight companies and their employees. They increase the value of our homes. In addition, let's not forget the value schools provide to our neighborhoods, serving as after-school child care centers and meeting places for community groups, providing senior citizen meals, and even acting as polling places. Good schools are a mainstay to the quality of life that county residents enjoy.
Bonds are a good economic choice for funding school construction and renovation. The use of bonds avoids taking money from operating funds that are critically needed for classroom instruction and spreads the financing of school construction over time in a well-managed and controlled manner. For more information on the school bond, visit www.fairfaxschoolbond.org and vote "yes" for the school bond on Nov. 4!
Springfield District Representative
Fairfax County Citizens for the School Bond '03