by Patricia Leslie
About 75 people showed up to a hearing on school facilities at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School, some to ask questions of city and school board officials, especially about the Mt. Daniel Elementary School bond referendum set for a vote on General Election Day, Nov. 4.
Falls Church City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones, Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields, Falls Church City School Board Chair Susan Kearney and City Mayor David Tarter were on hand to answer questions. If the mood and responses observed at the meeting are indicators of the ballot outcome, voters will likely approve the measure, although a school official told the News-Press after the meeting that she’s heard rumors of opposition.
Most audience questions centered on funding and whether taxes will increase to pay for school improvements. Tarter said it is unknown now if a tax increase will be necessary since next spring’s budget must be determined first. Since Mt. Daniel was constructed in 1952, no major improvements have been made and the school fails to meet current standards.