FAIRFAX COUNTY PARENTS ASSOCIATION AMICUS BRIEF TO SUPREME COURT
The Fairfax County Parents Association (“FCPA”) (hereinafter “Parents”) submit this brief as amici curiae in support of the Coalition for TJ to urge the Court to accept the District Court’s reasoning below. We submit this brief because Parents have a vital interest in the quality of children’s public education.
LEARNING LOSS CONTINUES DESPITE SPENDING INCREASES; TIME TO CHANGE DIRECTION
Last week Virginia released the standardized test (“SOL”) score data and results from last year, showing significant learning loss across the Commonwealth. More than half of 3rd-8th graders failed, or almost failed, their reading exams this past year. The data also shows that “pass rates for every elementary and middle school grade are behind 2018-2019,” a fact largely attributed to the harmful effects of school closures.
CONCERNS REGARDING THE PROPOSED SCHOOL CALENDAR
While we commend FCPS for attempting to set the calendar for three years, we are concerned that all four proposed FCPS calendars will result in compounding the crisis of academic decline.
STATEMENT ON THE FIRING OF GLASGOW MIDDLE SCHOOL COUNSELOR
Like all members of the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) community, we were shocked to learn that a Glasgow Middle School counselor was allowed to remain employed with FCPS for over a year after being charged with a child sex crime. The circumstances that finally led to this week’s decision by FCPS to fire this counselor underscore the deep concerns parents have about FCPS’s apparent bureaucratic inability to stay focused on executing not only its key mission of excellence in academics but also its key role as partners with parents in the safety of children while in the custody of the school system.
FAIRFAX COUNTY PARENTS ASSOCIATION AMICUS BRIEF
The Fairfax County Parents Association and Fairfax County Association for the Gifted (hereinafter “Parents”) submit this brief as amici curiae under Fed. R. App. P. 29(a)(2) in support of Appellee, Coalition for TJ to urge this Court to accept the District Court’s reasoning and decision below. We submit this brief because Parents have a vital interest in the quality of children’s public education.
FCPS'S MILITARY CHILDREN DESERVE MORE SUPPORT
As we enter the “Month of the Military Child," the Fairfax County Parents Association celebrates our military children and calls on Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to honor students and families who sacrifice for our nation by consistently providing military children with the resources they need. With increased conflict in the world today, we ask FCPS to increase its active awareness and support for the almost 15,000 active-duty military children and thousands of National Guard and Reserve children in FCPS.
FAIRFAX COUNTY PARENTS ASSOCIATION AMICUS BRIEF
Fairfax County Parents Association files Amicus Brief in opposition of plaintiffs motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injuction. FCPA supports the right of parents to decide whether their children should be masked in schools as codified by the Virginia legislature in Senate Bill 739 (“S.B. 739”) and provided for in Governor Youngkin’s Executive Order #2.
NEW VIRGINIA LAW PUTS CHILDREN FIRST
The Fairfax County Parents Association (FCPA) celebrates the passage of SB739, a bipartisan bill signed into law today in Richmond. SB739 enshrines in Virginia law a requirement that school systems provide students with access to in-person education during the entirety of every school year and empowers parents to make choices about whether to require their children to continue masking.
FCPA POLICY POSTIONS
The Fairfax County Parents Association (“FCPA”) represents a wide cross-section of Fairfax County families who have a deep interest in the quality of education in Fairfax County Public Schools. As parents, we want to be actively engaged in improving FCPS’s commitment to providing all students from all backgrounds with a high-quality education focused on strong academics that prepares students for success later in life. As adults in the community, our job is to ensure that the best interests of children and students come first.
We encourage parents to be advocates for their children. To that end, parents will disagree on some issues as they pertain to their circumstances. However, our bipartisan group can find common ground on many issues that are vital to our children’s education.
LETTER TO ATTORNEY GENERAL-ELECT MIYARES (JANUARY 2022)
On behalf of the thousands of families of the Fairfax County Parents Association (FCPA), we thank you for committing to protect the rights of all Virginian children and families. Having evolved out of the movement to open schools for in person learning during the 2020-2021 school year, the FCPA is a bipartisan organization dedicated to ensuring that the publicly-funded school system prioritizes the rights and interests of our community’s students. We look forward to working with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) under incoming Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera to give our children the world-class education that Governor-Elect Youngkin expects.
SCHOOLS MUST REMAIN OPEN FOR IN PERSON LEARNING
As students in Fairfax County head back to school on January 3, the FCPA emphasizes the importance of in-person education. We are grateful to the FCPS School Board for holding strong to their commitment to in-person learning, and grateful to the bipartisan efforts of Virginia Senators Chap Petersen and Siobhan Dunnavant and thousands of Fairfax County parents, for advocating and ensuring passage of SB 1303, which requires that Virginia school systems offer the choice of in-person education to all students.
LETTER TO GOVERNOR-ELECT YOUNGKIN (DECEMBER 2021)
On behalf of the thousands of families of the Fairfax County Parents Association (“FCPA”), we would like to take this opportunity to share with you key issues and recommendations families in our county have concerning the state of education in Virginia and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
FCPS UNNECESSARILY KEEPS HEALTHY KIDS OUT OF SCHOOL – TEST AND STAY IS THE SOLUTION
The evidence is overwhelming that keeping students home instead of in school has caused significant learning loss. Yet instead of working to ensure kids are back in school, FCPS continues to hold fast to a 14-day quarantine period for contacts of positive COVID cases. Every week that FCPS delays changing this policy, the number of healthy, quarantined children (already in the thousands) expands dramatically, creating a third year of disrupted learning for children and causing unsustainable burdens on parents and teachers.
FAMILIES AND TEACHERS STILL WONDERING WHAT THE FCPS BACK TO SCHOOL PLAN IS
Teachers report to schools in less than three weeks, and students are scheduled to start in less than four weeks. However, FCPS, with an annual budget of $3.4 billion, has yet to provide families or teachers with a glimpse of the Back to School plan for school year 2021-2022. Families and teachers eager to understand what the in-person requirements will be have been left waiting as FCPS attempts to run out the clock, to convince families to re-enroll their children without showing any cards on what those children can expect to encounter in FCPS this year.
NEW NONPARTISAN PARENTS ORGANIZATION SEEKS TO GET POLITICS OUT OF EDUCATION
After a year of grassroots advocacy under the OpenFCPS banner, parents have incorporated the Fairfax County Parents Association (“FCPA”) to continue the nonpartisan work that began with advocating for in person learning consistent with health expert guidance. Parents came together in June 2020 to advocate for their children when it became apparent that the school board prioritized politics over education in Fairfax County. Parents learned that politics had dominated the selection of leaders in the public school system and guided decisions contrary to the mental health and academic needs of students.