Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Postpone Boundary Vote

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Postpone Boundary Vote

This week, the Fairfax County School Board began debating proposed changes to its policy no. 8130.6 which concerns establishment of and changing of boundaries between school districts in the county. It appears the proposed changes are driven by Fairfax County's "One Fairfax" policy and a desire on the part of some School Board members to balance the respective districts with regard to racial and socioeconomic criteria.

The issues are quite complex and I would not presume to be able to discuss them in detail. However, one thing I know is that the issues are quite controversial in some respects and can adversely impact property values throughout the county.

This year is an election year and it appears about half the members of the current School Board will not be members after the elections in November. As such, it would be grossly inappropriate for these lame duck School Board members to participate in a radical modification of this policy on their way out the door and leave it to a newly constituted board to implement a policy they had no role in establishing. To the contrary, the proposed changes should be an election year issue to be debated by candidates for board positions, including by incumbents who wish to remain on the School Board and should not be voted upon or implemented until a new board is constituted on Jan. 1, 2020.

Our Mount Vernon representative on the School Board is Karen Corbett Sanders. She currently also presides as chairman of the School Board. Presumably, in that role, Ms. Corbett Sanders can influence the agenda of the School Board including the timing of consideration of various issues. I am unaware of any emergency requiring amendment of Policy No. 8130.6 prior to the election and constitution of a new board. As such, Ms. Corbett Sanders should represent her constituents, who as chairman are everybody in the county, and postpone any vote concerning proposed changes to Policy No. 8130.6 to 2020.

H. Jay Spiegel

Mount Vernon