Election Outcome Will Determine Trajectory of Public Education

The following letter to voters was published by the Fairfax County Times on November 3, 2023:

Dear Fairfax County Voters,

This upcoming election on Nov. 7 is the most important one that I can recall as a resident of Fairfax County. The outcome of this election will determine the trajectory of Fairfax County public education. The Fairfax County School Board is up for election – with four incumbents seeking re-election and eight open seats.

The quality of our public education is in a precipitous decline. From the latest SOLs, an unacceptable level of students failed reading (22%), writing (43%), math (25%) and history (38%). Minorities, economically disadvantaged, children with disabilities, and English learners did worse. The 2019–2023 SAT results declined 31 points and are lower than 2022. After two years of resuming in-person instruction, we can no longer blame lower scores on COVID-19.

Yet, the FCPS budget keeps rising. For Fiscal Year 2024, the FCPS budget grew $222 million dollars to reach an enormous $3.5 billion dollars despite less achievement and lower student enrollment. FCPS budget increases affect real estate taxes. Over the last four years, Fairfax County homeowners saw significant increases in their real estate tax bills, which in part offset FCPS budget increases. Every time real estate taxes rise, competent teachers find it harder to live and work in our community, worsening the teacher shortage.

The Superintendent and School Board members are from the same political party, and their actions during and after COVID reflect it. We need a board that isn’t plagued with group thinking and will work on solutions. Asking for more dollars from the taxpayers is not the answer.

We need an in-depth budget audit and redirect monies from the administration side of education to the classrooms. We need to rethink programs that are not working.

I believe parents should be involved in all aspects of their children’s education and well-being, and teachers need to be better supported.

Local elections typically have lower voter turnout, but this 2023 election is critical. Do we accept falling achievement, rising spending, and groupthink on the School Board — or steer FCPS in a better direction with a Board that represents other perspectives of the community?

Nov. 7 is Election Day, and early voting ends Nov. 4. Vote for change, our children, their future, and our community.


Cassandra Aucoin
School Board, At-Large Candidate
Fairfax County

Visit FairfaxGOP.org/VoterInfo for voting locations, hours, and a Republican sample ballot.

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2024 U.S. Senate & Congressional Primary

GOP Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 18

Election Calendar

  • Early voting opens 5/3
  • 5/28 – Deadline to register to vote (otherwise, same-day registration with provisional ballot)
  • 6/7 – Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot​
  • 6/8 - One of two Saturdays open for early voting, and additional early voting locations open.
  • Early Voting ends 6/15
  • 6/18 – Election Day

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