Pat Hynes' January 2017 Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Hunter Mill District Newsletter

Contact Pat:

Phone: 571-423-1082

Melanie Turpin
Executive Administrative Assistant


Pat Hynes' January Newsletter

Happy New Year!  I hope your winter break was restful.


Non-Discrimination Policy

The School Board's non-discrimination policy reads:

 “No student, employee, or applicant for employment in the Fairfax County Public Schools shall, on the basis of age, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, marital status, or disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity, as required by law. . . . The School Board is committed to eliminating all forms of unlawful discrimination in the school system. Accordingly, the school system shall continue to provide equitable treatment and opportunities for all. The curriculum shall foster this goal by engendering respect for the abilities and accomplishments of all peoples. . . . The School Board encourages all members of the school community to join in this commitment and to promote good human relations as a part of every school-related activity.”

You may have noticed that the Board’s addition in 2015 of the term “gender identity” has gotten some news coverage, but I think it’s very important at this time that we remind ourselves of the rest of the policy’s language as well. The culture of FCPS reflects the diverse and welcoming community we serve. Our families come from nearly every country in the world, enriching our county with their religious and cultural traditions. The School Board is committed to providing safe, respectful learning environments for all of our children and employees. For anyone concerned about what they may be hearing in the national political conversation, please be assured that FCPS staff do not ask students for their immigration status, and all employees receive cultural competency training. Our students are in loving, supportive environments where they can focus on learning and growing. If you have any reason to be worried about your child’s experience, please send me an email, and I will follow up right away. 


Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

January kicks off the School Board’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget discussion. On Thursday, January 12, Interim Superintendent Steve Lockard will present his proposed budget at the School Board’s evening meeting at Luther Jackson Middle School. The Board will host a public hearing on the FY 2018 budget on January 30 (and January 31, if necessary). On February 9, the Board will adopt the proposed budget, with any amendments the Board makes. From there, it goes as a transfer request to the County Board of Supervisors, who have their own budget process beginning in February. Once we know the revenue picture, the Board will adopt the final budget in May. It’s a complicated process, and it’s very important that community members are involved. Check the website for more budget information, and please send me an email if you have any questions or thoughts.

At this point, it looks as though the school system may be facing a large shortfall for FY 2018. Because the meals tax did not pass, we are short at least the $70 million in revenue that would have come from that tax to the schools. The School Board made clear that the meals tax revenue would be used to continue our reinvestment in teacher salaries. I am very concerned that the Board of Supervisors will not be able to transfer sufficient revenue this year to cover the lost meals tax income and our teacher salary improvements will have to wait.


State Legislative Session

The Virginia General Assembly has begun its 2017 session down in Richmond. The School Board hosted a reception for our Fairfax County delegation last month, at which we presented our legislative priorities. We continue to advocate for better state funding of K-12 education, especially to restore the Virginia Retirement System repayment to its original schedule. That alone would save the school system approximately $20 million in FY 2018.  The Board and FCPS leadership also continue to press for relief from SOL tests and greater flexibility to develop more meaningful local assessments.


Superintendent Search

I’m very sorry that Dr. Karen Garza has moved on from FCPS. I wish her the best in her new opportunity as President and Chief Executive of the non-profit Battelle for Kids, but I miss her warmth and wisdom every day. Fortunately, this community continues to attract the best and brightest in every field, and I’m sure our search for a new superintendent will be no exception. It is essential that the community have a voice in the process, so please participate as much as you can. For details on community meetings and other information, click here


School Board Audit Committee

The School Board Audit Committee consists of four Board members and two experts from the community who serve as “citizen members.” We are currently looking to fill a vacancy in one of the citizen member spots. For more information about the position and the application process, click here.    


Inclement Weather Policy

If it’s January, it’s time to watch the weather! FCPS staff do the best they can to respond to weather threats, erring on the side of safety. Please click here for more information about how delay and closing decisions are made.  



It is a great privilege and pleasure to serve the Hunter Mill community. Please keep in touch. And stay warm!


Pat Hynes