Fairfax GOP Demands Open Schools, Parental Choice in K-12 Education

Press Release | Fairfax GOP

Citing the “systemic failure” of the status quo, Fairfax GOP Chairman Steve Knotts today demanded that county schools immediately reopen on a full-time, in-person schedule. “The results are in,” Knotts said. “We have seen troubling learning losses and severely detrimental effects on the mental health of students in Fairfax County. Our schools need to reopen — five days a week, for all students — without any further delay.”

The chairman’s statement comes on the one-year anniversary of COVID-related school closures in Virginia. “Catholic schools and others, right here in Fairfax County, admirably met the challenge of these last 12 months,” Knotts observed. “Sadly, the same cannot be said of the better-funded, government-run Fairfax County Public Schools. We have learned a hard lesson: we just cannot rely on county school bureaucrats and unions. Going forward, county families need and deserve viable alternatives.”

Knotts called upon county schools to refocus on the delivery of in-person education — and leave virtual school to those with more experience in the field. “When it comes to remote learning, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Knotts said. “We already have Virtual Virginia, a statewide, tuition-free, public online school. In addition, numerous private virtual schools exist — with tuition rates far less than what our district spends per student.”

More fundamentally, Knotts said, county schools should lose their current monopoly on educational tax dollars. “Parents should have the freedom to choose their own kids’ school — and their tax dollars should follow,” the chairman said. “If we had universal school choice prior to COVID’s arrival, county families would not have been left at the mercy of district schools.”

The Fairfax GOP is the Republican Party of Virginia’s largest political unit. Follow us on Twitter: @FairfaxGOP.  

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