Red Apple Mom

October 2, 2011

TONIGHT – Watch the At-Large School Board Debate

Kudos to the Fairfax County Council of PTAs and the Fairfax area League of Women Voters who are sponsoring a LIVE, televised debate for the Fairfax County At-Large school board candidates.

This is a wonderful public service these fine community groups are sponsoring.  Please check out the broadcast or the webcast.  Let other voters know so they can check out the candidates too.  Spread the word – this election is CRITICAL for our students, teachers and taxpayers.

Date:  Sunday, October 2, 2011

Time:  6:30pm

Television:  LIVE on Fairfax Public Access Channel 10

Webcast:  LIVE at www.InsideScoopProductions.com

If you miss the TV broadcast or the webscast, you can catch the debate at FCCPTA’s website:  www.FCCPTA.org

As you are watching the debate tonight – ask yourself which of the candidates will bring added value to this new school board.

On election day, every voter can vote for three (3) At-Large candidates plus their district representative.  We have seen how crucial the At-Large candidates can be for effecting change (a la’ Tina Hone who sadly is not running again), so choose your three At-Large favorites carefully!

Here is a list of the At-Large candidates who are participating in tonight’s debate and as they will appear on the November 8th ballot:

September 19, 2011

More Teacher Endorsements That Are “OVER” the Moon!

The Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT) announced their endorsements for School Board today – and when I tell you they are “OVER” the Moon – I mean it.  They really are “OVER” Moon!    Yahoo!

12-year incumbent and School Board Vice-Chairman Ilryong Moon (At-Large)  was not endorsed by FCFT.

Who else is FCFT “over” and not endorsing?   School Board Chairman and 18-year incumbent Janie Strauss (Dranesville)  and the direct past-School Board Chairman Kathy Smith (Sully).  Make that ZERO teacher endorsements for both Strauss and Smith.  The Fairfax Education Association didn’t endorse them either when FEA issued its endorsements nearly two weeks ago.

I love this.  It’s “Political Bulimia” without the bingeing – just purge, purge, purge.  Out with incumbents who no longer bring added value — in with candidates who do.

Good for you FCFT!

Bravo to the teachers of Fairfax County who studied the candidates, their voting records, their words and actions – and THEN made their endorsements.

Red Apple Mom picks for School Board scored big with FCFT endorsements including:

Braddock District – Megan McLaughlin

Dranesville District – Louise Epstein

Mason District – Sandy Evans

Providence District – Patty Reed

Springfield District – Elizabeth Schultz

Sully District – Sheila Ratnam

At-Large:  Sheree Brown-Kaplan

At-Large:  Lolita Mancheno-Smoak

At-Large:  Steve Stuban

For a full list of FCFT’s endorsements, check out their website here:  www.FCFT.org

July 1, 2011

A Black Eye for the Fairfax County Council of PTAs

You know the old saying, “No good deed goes unpunished?”

Well PTA volunteers – beware.  You might be a “volunteer,” but if Fairfax County Public Schools perceives you as a threat to their power, you could be “fired” from your position as a PTA volunteer.

I know of what I speak because it happened to me four years ago.

And it happened again yesterday to a well-known FCCPTA volunteer, Sheree Brown-Kaplan, who also happens to be running for an At-Large School Board seat in Fairfax County.

Last night, executive board members of the FCCPTA met in “emergency” session to remove this dedicated and accomplished volunteer whose work has not only raised the profile of FCCPTA, but focused statewide attention on special education issues up to the Governor’s office.

The reason for Sheree’s removal?

I’m really not clear on this.

And based on the FCCPTA’s vote of 12 to 8 to remove Brown-Kaplan from her volunteer FCCPTA position , and from her position on the Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities, it appears at least eight FCCPTA executive board members felt the action was wrong.

Sheree Brown-Kaplan – sent out a campaign announcement and fundraising letter about her School Board candidacy to friends and colleagues she has worked with on special ed issues.  (Sheree Brown-Kaplan letter -click here)

Candidates are permitted to solicit donations, and Sheree Brown-Kaplan followed the letter of the law.

  • Sheree used her PERSONAL letterhead – not FCCPTA letterhead – to send her fundraising letter.
  • Sheree used her PERSONAL email account – not her FCCPTA email address – to send her fundraising letter.
  • Sheree signed her fundraising letter – Candidate for At-Large School Board.  She did NOT sign using her FCCPTA title.
  • Sheree sent her fundraising letter to people she has corresponded with at one time or another about special education issues.  She did NOT use a purportedly-sponsored FCCPTA list-serve to send her letter.

FCCPTA had no real justification to remove this highly regarded volunteer. The tentacles of their authority do not reach into every sector of a member’s personal life outside of FCCPTA.

One would think the FCCPTA would be proud to have one of their outstanding and accomplished volunteers running for School Board.

So what, exactly, was FCCPTA’s motivation to essentially “fire” a well-known special ed parent volunteer?

I’m betting it’s political.

Guess who has voting power on the FCCPTA executive board? Fairfax County Public Schools — that’s who. And an FCPS official was present and voting at last night’s “emergency” County Council of PTAs meeting.

Yep – FCCPTA’s tentacles do reach long and far and they appear to share a head with FCPS.  What FCPS wants, FCPS tries to get.  And FCPS clearly does not want a mover and shaker like Sheree Brown-Kaplan getting electing to the School Board.

That alone makes me like Sheree Brown-Kaplan’s candidacy all the more.  Anyone who has FCPS administration running scared has my vote.

So go get ‘em Sheree. Show this community how you won’t be a another rubber-stamper on the School Board for the Superintendent and his staff!

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