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Votes

Vote 'Yes' for School Bond

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Fairfax County voters are being asked, in the election on Nov. 8, to approve $246 million in new county bonds for our county schools. I appreciated the recent Connection article on the bond and write to urge voters to support this critical funding to sustain our ongoing investment in our public school infrastructure.

The FCPS physical plant is integral to the quality education delivered to our 165,000 students, but these facilities also support 91,000 adult education classes, nearly 160,000 senior citizens meals in 35 schools and thousands of outside recreational activities sponsored by the County Recreation Services and serving over 300,000 individuals.

The 2005 bond contains funding for one new elementary school, planning funds for two additional elementary schools, and modular additions for two schools. There is also money for base realignment and closing (BRAC) impact planning and site acquisition. In addition, money for renovating eight elementary schools and one high school is included, plus money to fund the planning process for the renovation of an additional eight elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. The bond also includes funds for infrastructure management to deal with replacement of major systems and this category of funding also includes money for system-wide modifications required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Good schools are a mainstay of 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. Of course, many projects remain to be funded in future bonds, but approval of this bond will keep us on track to address the infrastructure improvements needed in our schools.

I urge voters to learn more about the bond projects at www.fairfaxschoolbond.org and vote "yes" on the school bond on Nov. 8.

Jennifer Heinz

Springfield District Representative

Citizens for the School Bond Committee 2005