Image Credit: YouTube / Fairfax County Public Schools
Fairfax County Republican Committee Seeks Retraction, Investigation
The Fairfax County Republican Committee (FCRC) calls for Scott Brabrand, the Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), to retract his recent video and message issued at taxpayer expense, in which he purportedly seeks “to clarify some misinformation that is unfortunately circulating in our community about school boundaries.”
Dr. Brabrand does not “clarify” anything about looming school boundary changes in his message. He misleads the public by failing to mention the role of the county’s “One Fairfax” policy as the framework for school boundary changes, a role Dr. Brabrand and his staff have documented repeatedly.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board adopted One Fairfax in November 2017. It “commits both boards to consider equity in decision-making and in the development and delivery of future policies, programs, and services. One Fairfax offers a framework—or “lens”— for the county and schools to look intentionally, comprehensively, and systemically at barriers that may be creating gaps in opportunity.”
In a May 2018 message, Dr. Brabrand unequivocally tied school boundary changes to One Fairfax, saying: “I am suspending making any administrative boundary recommendations for the 18/19 school year until we can engage together in a dialogue regarding potential revisions to Policy and Regulation 8130 that better align boundary decision-making to our One Fairfax policy.”
Dr. Brabrand lamented “I don’t believe we’ve had a One Fairfax lens for the boundary process.”
FCPS’s new draft policy on school boundary changes, developed under the oversight of Dr. Brabrand, specifically lists “Socioeconomic and/or racial composition of students in affected schools” among considerations governing the establishment of new school boundaries. Yet, Dr. Brabrand fails to mention this in his “clarifying” video.
School boundary changes are inevitable as communities grow and change. They should be discussed openly and honestly with the public. Dr. Brabrand’s omission of One Fairfax’s social, racial, and other undefined equity principles as being key determinants of school boundary changes does not clarify, but instead obscures, the motives and driving forces behind possible school boundary changes.
His video and message directly support the positions of Democrat School Board members and candidates on school boundary changes. Such blatant partisanship suggests inexcusable electioneering by a public executive who relies on a super-majority of Democrat School Board members for his evaluation and ongoing $400,000+ compensation package. Whether Dr. Brabrand intended to benefit certain candidates and is interfering with the upcoming School Board election warrants investigation.
School Board candidates endorsed by the Republican Party repudiate plans to manipulate school boundaries based on students’ race, ethnicity, and family income, pointing out such plans will:
- Break down neighborhood schools, including after-school activities.
- Increase student transportation times, including drop-off and pick-up times in rush hour.
- Change school pyramids.
- Negatively impact property values.