For years, Stafford County went barreling down a highway with no one at the wheel. The School Board and the Board of Supervisors existed as separate entities with little cooperation or planning. The Board of Supervisors allowed unchecked growth to spread throughout the county without insuring that the funds would be in place to provide the schools and infrastructure needed for the booming population. The School Board remained ineffectual, bound by it’s inability to predict future growth and could only be reactive to the emergency needs of the school system. Superintendents came and went with little regard to the future of the school system and hence the quality of education in Stafford suffered.
What has it gotten us?
- Roads that can’t handle the heavy, daily traffic demands and in some areas, are flat out unsafe.
- Schools that require ridiculous travel times for students due to a lack of proper districting and
over-crowded classrooms when they get there.
- A cycle of band-aid redistricting that is tearing our neighborhoods and their residents apart.
- A looming spectre of overwhelming growth taking over our county while some of our elected
officials on the Board of Supervisors and School Board are either unwilling or unable to make
the necessary course corrections.
While Break The Wheel began to stop band-aid redistricting, it has become patently clear that particular problem is just a drop in the bucket. The only way to stop it is to address the much larger issues affecting our community, namely unchecked growth and it’s consequences.
Fortunately, some initial progress has been made. We have finally found a committed Superintendent in Dr. Benson, someone who has demonstrated he is willing to fix the mistakes of the past. The beginnings of cooperation between the BoS and the SB are taking root. But we can’t stop there.
We at Break the Wheel think the only way to get out of this situation is to force our elected officials to come up with a comprehensive, cooperative plan between the School Board and the Board of Supervisors, with a specific focus on ending the need for redistricting and addressing infrastructure. If this is not achieved, our underlying problems will just continue unabated. We must hold our representatives on the Board of Supervisors and the School Board accountable and demand they fix these issues.
!HIGH SCHOOL #6 WILL NOT HAPPEN IF THE COMMUNITY DOES NOT DEMAND IT!
This is not about whether one's own individual family is directly affected, we are all affected. Granted, some of the people who caused this mess are no longer in the positions they once held but the organizations themselves need to acknowledge their role in the disservice they have done to our community. By allowing all of these homes and neighborhoods to be built with no plans for the schools or infrastructure to support them, they have created this crisis and now they need to adequately address it. Accountability, followed by implementation of a long-term, cooperative plan between the BOS and the School Board are what will end the madness.
It doesn't matter what your political ideology is, this issue transcends D vs R. Our only agenda is to apply the necessary pressure to our various elected officials to get this problem solved once and for all. They only have power if we give it to them and they know it.