Fairfax County residents enjoy the benefits of having one of the best school systems in the nation, but with over 196 schools serving over 187,000 students, it has aging infrastructure is in dire need of improvements.
Voting YES on the school bond referendum will allow the county to maintain the “world class education system” which FCPS provides. This is a driving force behind our region's economic success. Nearly 75 percent of high school graduates in Fairfax County schools attend some form of post-secondary education. Many of these students return to Fairfax County to find work after graduating.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is the largest public school system in the Commonwealth and the 10th largest school system in the nation. Recent significant increases in student enrollment have pushed some schools far beyond capacity. Since the 2008-2009 school year, enrollment has increased by more than 22,000 students and continued strong growth is anticipated. On top of that, existing classrooms are in dire need of renovations to assure student safety. FCPS facilities also act as community centers with nearly 2,000 community organizations utilizing FCPS facilities every year.
Bonds are the means by which we provide the funding necessary for our students’ facilities. The use of bonds avoids diverting funds that are critically needed for classroom instruction. They also spread the financing of required school construction over the improvement's usable life, diversifying the contribution throughout several years.
In addition, it is important to note that the School Bond will not increase county taxes. The sale of bonds avoids taking funds that are critically needed for classroom instruction.
The use of bonds will not affect the county’s coveted bond rating. Not only are interest rates for tax exempt bonds at a near all time low, but Fairfax County is also among the top 1% of counties with the highest credit rating possible for a locality. Of the nation’s more than 3,000 counties, Fairfax is among only 40 that have the highest credit rating possible for a local government from all three rating agencies.
Fairfax County is home to 10 Fortune 500 company headquarters, more than 300 trade associations and professional societies, and nine of Inc. magazine’s 500 fastest-growing privately-owned companies. To continue the excellence in education and business that Fairfax County is known for, our schools need to be modernized.
Together, we can pass the 2015 School Bond to make the necessary investments for a brighter future for our students and our county.
Chairman, Fairfax Citizens for Better Schools