Letters to the Editor: April 19 – 25, 2018
F.C. ‘Elites’ Should Be Held Fully Accountable
According to teachers’ salary research in this area Falls Church is no lower than fifth highest average teacher salary and in other records second highest! There are various variables in all systems regarding these pay scales. This “city” has the smallest tax base of these districts and is still at the top in salary. How high do you want our taxes to go? When working in a smaller environment there are definite advantages and disadvantages. Some disadvantages are less positions, resources and opportunities therefore, less financial growth. If you choose to work in a smaller school system you should accept the restrictions inherent in this system. Teachers’ salaries do not seem to be a disadvantage so why the constant complaining from some citizens? Facing facts and reacting logically and maturely is challenging. I suggest – face the reality!
Some citizens take pride that we spend more money that any other district on the education — $5,000 more per student than other systems — equating money spent with student concern. Polls in this paper continually show that respondents want fiscal responsibility shown for school and municipal spending. Then, when presented with the school bond — it is approved. Where is the disconnect? When are we going to wise up and realize the independent school is a relic of our “separatist past” and do what is right and join the 21st (20th?) century? I hope the damage being done by the “oligarchy/school Mafia” is justly punished for their selfish disregard for Falls Church’s silent-and-non-voting citizens. It is past time for forward thinking citizens to question the actions of the few “elites” and demand full accountability for the school’s and municipal’s future funding.
Falls Church Is Not Accepting of Opposing Views
There is no doubt about it: the 2016 election, and now the 2018 midterms have turned the world of politics upside down. But, on a slightly smaller scale, and in some instances, we have seemingly turned against our own neighbors. Virginia is considered a purple state, one that leans blue. There is no issue with this; the issue lies with dissenting opinion. With my own delegate, state senator, and two senators all reside on the left side of the aisle; there seems to be a statewide consensus for what party should lead Virginia. As a moderate Republican, I have trouble stating my own political alliances without the fear of being affiliated with Trump.
In my opinion the Republican Party under Trump has more faults than California; fiscal Conservatives are a joke.
All that being said, everyone I have spoken to about politics in the Falls Church area bashes Trump, and generalizes all Conservatives as being quite favorable of him. I have gotten dirty looks, been scoffed at, been asked if I was an NRA member, and most recently asked if it was, “hard living with myself,” — all this because my views may differ from someone else’s.
This to me isn’t fair, and it’s not a great environment to be in. I am perfectly happy with civil discourse, that’s what citizens should always engage in. As someone who consumes information from every ideology out there, it doesn’t hurt to not assume just because someone is on the right (or left) that they agree with everything their party leaders espouse.
I have worked in the office of a Democrat and a Republican, and learned many things from both sides of the equation. All I ask is that we all understand each other a little more, or, at the very least, to throw away intolerance. I feel the divisiveness that is already occurring will not leave us in a very happy place.
Despite Trump, the Republic Endures & Will Survive
In reference to Mr. Benton’s tirade in the April 12-18 edition of the News-Press, why bother with impeachment, charges, Congressional trial? Mr. Benton has already found Trump guilty. Not exactly clear as to what but bank fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance violations are mentioned.
I am reminded of an old New Jersey saying: “If you’re a developer, you’re indictable and if you’re from New Jersey, you’re trialable, and if you’re Italian, you’re convictable.”
Fortunately for Mr Trump, he’s not from New Jersey, and he’s not Italian. Please note I supported neither of the two candidates in the last election. In fact I thought, and still think, they were the two poorest candidates for President in my lifetime.
However, so far the Trump Presidency has provided great proof of the brilliance of the writers of our Constitution. The Republic endures, and will almost certainly survive this, too. My advice to those who hate him is, don’t be Chicken Little — the sky is not falling.
Henry J. Gordon
Once Again, Budget Season Divides the F.C. Community
Falls Church is a premier international baccalaureate (IB) school system, and Falls Church City Public Schools in recent years has expanded the IB program to reach all grade levels. I recently looked up the core IB “learner profile” at www.ibo.org, and it is quite admirable. Many readers may be familiar with the attributes of an IB learner: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, and Reflective.
Falls Church and the broader community are raising a tremendous generation of students and learners with incredible teachers and programs, and our schools are frequently ranked among the best in the state and the country. Yet once again at budget season we are divided and the discussion is often exaggerated and contentious. What would the IB values say of our community’s discussions about the budget? Are we open-minded, reflective, balanced, and caring for the whole community? Do we value transparency, discussion, and disagreement? The IB learner profile encourages independent thinkers and critical reflection. I hope our community does too.
Erik Pelton, Marilyn Bugg, Paul Bugg, Beth Hahn, Elizabeth Hume
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