Letters to the Editor: I’m Campaigning To Strengthen F.C. Schools, Not Wage Culture Wars

Letters to the Editor: July 15 – 21, 2021

I’m Campaigning To Strengthen F.C. Schools, Not Wage Culture Wars


Your article about my Wall Street Journal piece takes liberties with my positions, playing fast and loose with events unrelated to my campaign. I strongly support our public schools, teachers, and staff. Falls Church earned its sterling reputation decades ago; my family wouldn’t have moved here if we thought otherwise.

Nobody’s trying to incite a culture war, either — at least I’m not. There are people who disagree in good faith about naming schools for Thomas Jefferson and George Mason. My concern is that the board chose to push an unpopular and divisive agenda when it should’ve been building public support for safely re-opening schools. It should’ve been more accessible, too, especially for families with young kids for whom online learning was such a bad experience.

My criticisms clearly struck a nerve, but there’s a reason no incumbents are running in this fall’s election, just as hundreds of yellow yard signs didn’t burst from the ground on their own this spring.

Support for our great schools is wide and deep, but it would be folly to deny the erosion in public trust. I was sincere in writing that local engagement is the key to a healthy society. That message resonates universally, which is why a national outlet carried it and why, despite your assertion to the contrary, the response to it has been overwhelmingly positive.

Falls Church students, parents, teachers, and residents deserve a school board that’s accountable, transparent, and responsive. We all also need more diversity of thought; I still find it remarkable that the board unanimously sided with the 26 percent who wanted school renaming after going through the (expensive) motions of a community survey.

As a board member, I will explain our business regularly, both online and in person. I will meet with parents to hear their concerns and convey them to the board and FCCPS administration. Your voice will be heard.

Moreover, I will forgo ideological agendas and instead bring common sense and independent thinking. Most school board business is mundane, but all of it is important and has a real impact. We can and will do better going forward.

Ilya Shapiro

Falls Church

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