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Supervisors Assure Quick Transfer of Funds for Eastern School

| January 4, 2017 | 1 Comment | News
Supervisor Candland to host town hall meeting, April 8.

Supervisor Candland to host town hall meeting, April 8.

Five members of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors have electronically sent a Letter of Assurance to all members of the Prince William School Board, Wednesday evening; the letter promises an expedient exchange of $10.6 million for an eastern end school should the school board approve the PRICE model for the 13th high school.

This promise of funds presented within fiscal year 2017 comes hours before the School Board will vote on the supervisors’ resolution to help fund the PRICE model for the new high school in Bristow. The BOCS wants to provides $10.6 million for construction of that school and another $10.6 million in funding for an eastern end school.

The transfer of the first $10.6 million for an eastern end school will be voted upon at the next supervisors’ meeting, Jan. 10. The signed letter makes clear that they have the five votes necessary to pass the resolution.

Those supervisors intending to vote for the transfer come from Chairman At-large Corey Stewart (R), Pete Candland (R-Gainesville), Jeanine Lawson (R-Brentsville), Frank Principi (D-Woodbridge) and Ruth Anderson (R-Occoquan.)

The funds for the first $10.6 would come out of the county’s Capital Reserve Funds.

As per the supervisor’s resolution, an additional $10.6 million would be provided. According to the letter, they intend to vote in favor of those funds being provided within the county’s five-year plan (2018-22). The money to pay back debt service on the school would likely come from the county’s recordation tax, so it would not drive up the tax rate.

The $10.6 million for the PRICE model is the estimated difference between that bigger hybrid model and the Battlefield model. The PRICE model accommodates 500 more students at a lower cost that adapting the Battlefield model or a modified version of that model designed to accommodate more students.

Some are estimating of the school costing as high as $160 million, but that include land acquisition and road development. The difference between building the two design models remains $10.6 million.

In a phone interview, Wednesday afternoon, Supervisor Candland said his resolution, which he created along with supervisor Lawson, came form their desire to reduce school overcrowding regardless of where in the county it exists.

Back in October, the school board presented to their board and explained how they are overcrowded and in need of additional funding. Candland said he has always thought the schools could use additional funding to for those objectives. He noted that this year’s overcrowding exceeded expectations and the projections for the next ten years look dire.

“This was done in good faith to help them afford the things they need to pay for,” Candland said. “To me, it’s all about capacity.”

Candland sought to work with Supervisor Frank Principi to solve the problem. He knew Principi would know what his district and other eastern districts wanted.

“Frank and I don’t agree on much, but both of us agree this is a spending priority,” he said.

Candland was shocked to learn the school board was not excited to receive the unprecedented amount of over $21.2 in funds that could be used on other projects, but instead wanted to reject it.

He believes that presenting the school board with the money for the eastern school upfront is an act of good faith to help the two boards work better together.

If the school design is not adopted tonight, Candland believes it will be too late to change it. He said this will serve as a test of whether the supervisors will be able to work with the school board in the future to help students and residents.

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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  1. KuroHouou says:

    If the school board does not accept money to build the proper schools for our children, those against it should be removed from office immediately by any means necessary. I am sorry but at the local government level, our children come first, playing politics is not welcome here. Remove yourself from office if you can’t make sure our children get a proper education no matter the cost!!!

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