RESOLUTION

 

  A Resolution To Amend The Fauquier County Board Of Supervisors' 2004 Legislative Proposals To The Virginia General Assembly To Include Additional Proposals By The Fauquier County Public Schools

 

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County School Board has developed a series of proposals which require legislative action by the Virginia General Assembly; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors has developed a Legislative Program which it may amend from time to time to include additional priorities; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Fauquier County School Board has requested that the Board of Supervisors include the School Board’s proposals in Fauquier County’s 2004 Legislative Program; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors has determined that the inclusion of such proposals will be of benefit to all parties; now, therefore, be it

 

            RESOLVED by the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors this 20th day of January 2004, That the Board of Supervisors’ 2004 Legislative Program be, and is hereby, amended to include the following priorities:

 

 

Fauquier County School Board

2004 Legislative Priorities

 

                                                           

Priority One:

Maintain the blended VRS rates for state employees and teachers.

 

Background Points

Ø      Since 2000, The Virginia Retirement System has pooled the contribution rates for state employees and teachers.  This method was used to save state general fund and local dollars.

Ø      The VRS Board has proposed to separate the contribution rates for state employees and teachers and increase the contribution rate for teachers from the current 3.77 percent to 8.10 percent.

Ø      The impact of this change would mean an additional $2,000,000 to be added to the 2004-2005 Fauquier County Public Schools’ Operating Budget 

 

 

Priority Two:

            Fully fund the amount required to re-benchmark the existing Standards of Quality, using current data and actual costs.

 

Background Points

Ø      Full funding of the SOQ (and the categorical and incentive programs will enable Fauquier County Public Schools to deliver the current education program to more students.

Ø      By funding the teacher shortage through the Standards of Quality, salaries at levels that attract and retain sufficient number of highly qualified teachers can be ensured.

Ø      Full re-benchmarking of the existing Standards of Quality will ensure that public education funding does not diminish.

                                                                                                                       

Priority Three:

            Fully fund the Virginia Board of Education 2003 revisions to the Standards of Quality, ensuring that reliable and predictable revenue sources are available for the State and localities to meet their shares.

 

Background Points

Ø      It is the constitutional obligation of the state to share education funding with local government.  Whenever the state defaults on its proper share, taxpayers must dig deeper.

Ø      Fund our students’ futures, not the past:  For the first time the Standards of Quality revisions acknowledge that dedicated technology positions are essential to delivering the foundation education program for students.

Ø      Fully fund the proposed revised funding formula for the programs of prevention, intervention and remediation necessary for all children to meet the high state and federal achievement standards.

 

 Priority Four:

            Maintain the school construction grants program and the integrity of the Literary Fund for school construction loans.

 

Background Points

Ø      The state has an obligation to share in the funding of local school construction because state mandates and regulations drive building requirements (i.e., class size, special programs, building codes).

Ø      Student safety and security drive construction and renovation decisions.

 

 

Priority Five:

            Introduce legislation to incorporate Fauquier County into the Cost of Competing School Funding Formula.

 

Background Points

Ø      Fauquier County is not eligible to receive funds under the current state cost of competing formula.  This continues to be a hardship for Fauquier County Public Schools in terms of funding.

Ø      Fauquier County is contiguous to Planning District 8 (PD8) counties which do receive cost of competing funds.  This disparity puts Fauquier County at a disadvantage in competitive hiring.  The cost of living, particularly for housing, is as high in Fauquier County as it is in PD8

Ø      The most recent adjustment to the school division’s composite index now ranks the county fourth in the state.  Fauquier County’s high composite index is a misleading measure of the county’s ability-to-pay.  Because 65% of the land is in land use tax deferment programs – a program which the state sponsors and encourages for agricultural, forestry, and open space preservation purposes – our composite index is artificially high because the true value of those properties is not the taxable value.