Red Apple Mom

February 8, 2011

School Board Member Liz Bradsher Gets An Earful

Tonight was not a proud moment for Fairfax County Public Schools.

Of the 40+ speakers who adddressed the FCPS School Board Monday night about the Southwest Boundary Study, there were at least 27 references speaking to a lack of confidence about the boundary process and a complete consensus among the crowd that the entire process should be scrapped and started over.

Why should this matter to the county at large?  Because FCPS has spent a lot of money on this project and has stated that the SW Boundary study is to serve as a “model” for future boundary studies.   And that IS worrisome!  What if you live in the next area deemed worthy of a “boundary study” by the School Board?

Parents say the SW boundary study was so poorly conducted by FCPS staff that 11 of 21 PTAs (representing 8500 families)  in the SW boundary study have all signed a common resolution calling for a halt to the process until all concerns in the community are addressed.

The biggest loser of tonight’s hearing definitely was Springfield District School Board member Liz Bradsher.   Bradsher’s perceived underhanded tactics in this boundary study have several community leaders calling for an end to her career in public service saying that she is no longer an effective representative.  The public at the hearing appeared to agree.

Parents weren’t shy tonight in addressing their complaints about Bradsher’s behavior these past few months.  Several mentioned her ugly comments about PTA moms and parent advocates that became available through recent FOIA requests of Bradsher’s email correspondence with other FCPS officials.

Noticeably absent at tonight’s hearings were all the “friends” Liz Bradsher relied on this past summer for support when she was corralling votes to close Clifton Elementary School.  Not a single person from the SW Regional Planning Committee showed up to speak in support of Bradsher for the study either.  If this boundary study is such a great thing for southwest Fairfax County, how come no one from this committee signed up to sing its or Liz Bradsher’s praises?

It appears no one wants to defend Liz Bradsher anymore and the community clearly doesn’t want this boundary study.   As one father, Shan Thiru, put it, “None of the parents are happy.  The closing of one school (Clifton ES) is making all this mess.”

Let’s see if the rest of the School Board has the courage to clean up Bradsher’s mess. They’ll have the chance in a couple of weeks when they vote on what to do for Southwest County.  I’m with the parents.  Start over FCPS.

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