• Universal Pre-K
  • Capital Funding for continued rebuilding of old schools

Education is very important to me.  I am a former professor and have two children of my own in ACPS, one at GW and one at Douglas MacArthur.  We highly value reading in our house.  Having requested I teach her to read before 4, my daughter is now reading 2 grade levels above her age.

My daughter and son were lucky growing up in a household with educated parents who had the time, energy, and money to provide them with an enriching environment and personalized instruction to start them off on a good track.  Not all families and children are so lucky.

That’s why I support funding universal pre-k for all children in Alexandria.  Being exposed to enriching materials and environments at an early age is one of the most important factors to a child’s future success.  There are already programs in the city that serve the working poor such as The Child & Family Network Centers.  These centers provide pre-K to at risk children with a rate of producing Kindergarten ready children of 93%.  If we could do this for all of Alexandria’s children, it would have a great impact.  I’m committed to making that a reality for all children in Alexandria.

Beyond pre-k our schools require more capital investment.  Although we’ve made some headway by re-building some of the neglected, aging schools in the city, there is still more to be done.  Because of poor management and age, many of our schools are literally falling apart and badly in need of rehab.  I would make funding our school infrastructure a priority.

Another problem is caused by unsustainable development in the city.  Too often the city approves development without appropriate concessions from developers and without considering the impact on city services such as the schools.  How many big developments have you seen go in that include schools for the children they will bring to the city?  (hint: The answer is none.)  Too many residents have heard from the city “The development targets young professionals, they won’t have kids”.  Last I checked, healthy young couples is exactly where children come from.  These poor excuses and asinine answers got us where we are now.

Although affordable housing is important to me, I think that building affordable housing units on school grounds is a terrible idea.  The school board recently rejected this for Minnie Howard;  even so I want to make clear that I would unequivocally oppose this terrible idea if it were ever floated again.

One last thought, some residents aren’t aware that the school board and ACPS are separate from the city council.  The only official role of council is to fund the schools (although in the past the council appointed the board that is now elected).  I’ve pledged to collaborate with the school board, ACPS, and the community to help find, fund, and implement solutions to address all of the issues our schools face.