How Fairfax County Public Schools Place National Security at Risk

Zia Tompkins | Do Better FCPS

Fairfax residents have done their part to fight the Covid-19 threat – we’ve socially distanced, worn our masks, washed our hands and sacrificed our livelihoods. More than flatten the curve, Virginia has bent the curve like Beckham and saved lives!

We should all be proud.

Yet here we are – on a leaderless ship going nowhere in Fairfax County.  Our School Board has turned its back on its one elected responsibility — educating our children. In doing so they have chosen to ignore the evidence presented by their own Fairfax County Department of Health and the results of their own survey of parents and teachers.

Here are the undisputed facts – no child has died in the Commonwealth of Virginia because of Covid-19.  In fact, no child nationwide has died from COVID without a serious preexisting condition and COVID deaths nationwide for children are less than from the 2018-19 flu season. Not only do children have low to no-risk from the disease, European studies indicate children don’t even spread it.

This should be great news! Unfortunately, the FCPS board is ignoring it. Like amputating your leg to fight brain cancer, their cure – shutting down in person learning – is far worse for our kids, families and communities than the disease.

Another undisputed fact is that local school boards’ ill informed decisions – with Fairfax County’s one-party board taking the lead – have adversely affected our national security. The closing of schools and switch to virtual learning this fall has now forced parents in the military and Intelligence Community to make a choice – continue to protect or nation from adversaries who wish to destroy our way of life, or provide daycare and personal education for their children.

The Pentagon and Intelligence Community have done backflips to make accommodations over the past four months but that will understandably end soon. Parents are going to be compelled to take leave without pay or quit their jobs. As key employees leave or remain distracted, this will severely weaken out our military and intelligence communities for years to come.

FCPS has turned its back on military families and endangered our larger national security apparatus. Fortunately, military families and federal workers can lodge a meaningful protest by refusing to fill out the Federal Impact Aid form until their legitimate concerns are addressed. Your child is worth about $17,000 in federal aid to a school. In Fairfax County alone, that is worth over $3 million. Consider holding off on submitting that form until you’re satisfied with FCPS’ back to school plans. This is a unique opportunity for military families to drive change across the entire district.

Additional information on the Federal Impact Aid program can be found here.

Zia Tompkins was a candidate for the Fairfax County School Board (Braddock District) in 2019. This article was first published at

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