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Peter’s Take: Back to Basics

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Peter RousselotThe possible cancellation of construction of a new South Arlington elementary school demonstrates yet again why Arlington must refocus its budget priorities on basic core services like schools.

ARLnow.com recently posted a story about a plan by Arlington Public Schools to scrap the construction of the new Glencarlyn Elementary School. The story explained that APS is “looking at diverting that investment to prepare for middle school overcrowding in the coming years, which is projected to be more serious than the capacity issues in elementary schools.”

APS CAPITAL BUDGET

If middle school overcrowding is projected to be more serious than elementary school overcrowding, and if Arlington can’t address the future capital needs at both the elementary and middle school levels, well then the decision to scrap the construction of this elementary school might make sense. But, that would be true only if we assume APS is getting the share of Arlington’s overall capital budget that APS deserves.

APS certainly is not getting the share of Arlington’s overall operating budget it deserves. And, APS cannot be getting the share of Arlington’s overall capital budget it deserves so long as Arlington persists in wasting our money on the extravagant features of the proposed Aquatics Center and other vanity capital projects.

APS OPERATING BUDGET

It still remains unclear whether the Arlington County Board will step up to the plate to restore to APS the share of Arlington’s operating budget APS must have in order to provide a 21st century education and to address the classroom impacts of the enrollment surge.

In trying to prop up its crumbling justification for the Aquatics Center, the County Board keeps saying Arlington “needs” a “world class” facility like the Aquatics Center. But, the County Board hasn’t been willing to give APS the resources APS says it needs to extend the Foreign Language in the Elementary School (FLES) program to all the elementary schools that lack FLES.

The County Board says extending the FLES program is a policy decision for the School Board, while the School Board says it can’t extend FLES without additional money from the County Board.

The children at the elementary schools that lack FLES are stuck in the middle.

This is not a world class way to govern.

Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

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Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above.  In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?

All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).

When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM. 

Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.

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Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved

Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved. Join ACFCU for our Homebuying

Pink Carpet Event Charity Fashion Show

The Pink Carpet Event Charity Fashion Show will feature our fabulous breast cancer survivors slaying the runway! Designers from Baltimore and the Washington, DC Metropolitan area will bring exquisite fashion and glamour to this event. Professional male and female designs

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