Wednesday, May 21, 2014

County Board Signals It May Be Willing To Alter Revenue Sharing Formula With APS



Hey, Yupette,

County Board and School Board met in a joint session at the School Board this evening to present their respective 10-year Capital Improvement Programs. Two County Board members indicated that the County Board may be willing to alter the County Board-School Board revenue sharing agreement to give APS additional funds to build classrooms when classrooms are needed in FY 17 and beyond. John Vihstadt and Libby Garvey asked a number of questions about alternatives to more building of expensive infrastructure to meet increased demand

After the County Board left APS continued with a CIP work session, which included a presentation by Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations, John Chadwick, about the costs of new school construction. Turns out the major reason new schools in Arlington cost so much to construct is because new schools in Arlington are loaded with amenities that have little to do with education. If the goal of APS were to provide enough capacity when capacity is needed APS could accomplish that by constructing buildings and additions with the essentials and defer constructing the amenities.

Unfortunately, parents of Arlington's K-12 students won't let APS do that  They heavily lobby the School Board for more amenities. Every new school has to have the same, and more, amenities than the previous new school. Also, new schools are constructed to provide evening and weekend programs to communities near the schools and to special interests.

All that would be appropriate if Smart Growth weren't packing as many people into the 16 square miles of Arlington that can be redeveloped as possible. New Urbanism is hugely expensive, to the point where Arlington Government and APS will be close to their their borrowing limits for many years. It remains to be seen how much longer Arlington residents, voters, and taxpayers will pay for Taj Mahal infrastructure.

Pat, 22201

32 Comments:

At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know how much APS will spend for a boathouse on the Potomac. Arlington just bought 6/10 of an acre for almost $2.5 million, and that wasn't for the boathouse but for boathouse-related activities.

I mean are we talking $30 million here? To benefit whom? Another little interest group APS and County Government can't say no to?

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dems who control the County Board and School Board have drinking too much spiked Koolaide at Smart Growth America's receptions for Alan Howze, Barbara Kanninen, and Patrick Hope.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No contest. I and my family are voting for Jon Vihstadt in November.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty disconcerting. Vihstadt and Garvey are the only two in County Government who are looking out for the taxpayers.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Questions the School Board asked last night were variations on "What are we going to do? What are we going to do?"

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at what's happened in Falls Church. The school system completely controls City Government.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parents lobbying the School Board and County Board for expensive special infrastructure and expensive spacial programs that have nothing to do with education?

Same Yuptards that zoom through my neighborhood delivering their brats to the elementary school because they won't put their little darlings on a dirty old school bus.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right about Falls Church. And the Yellow Dog Democrat media whips up the parents' feeding frenzy every year during budget season.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris Zimmerman and his New Urbanist cronies are laughing all the way to the bank.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Chadwick's 'vision statement' last night: Arlington will become Manhattan-on-the-Potomac with thousands of families living in two-bedroom condos and apartments with one or two children..

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, John Chadwick will retire to England and live in a restored manor house a mile from Downtown Abbey.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, John Chadwick is an architect and architects don't like inexpensive off-the-shelf solutions, like modular classrooms.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we like get a second opinion about the APS CIP from a disinterested third party who is involved in school construction elsewhere?

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Sir John lived closer to Uptown Abbey.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tail wags dog? Something like 85% of Arlington households don't have school-age children.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What has already been promised to Abingdon School PTA parents regarding 'amenities'?

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously they've been promised a Taj Mahal elementary school.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we get a second opinion about the APS CIP from someone who is involved in school construction who's not an architect?

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a vote? Which was the better charade last night? County Manager's CIP presented by Michelle Cowan or APS CIP presented by Sir John Chadwick?

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Taj Mahal boathouse being planned?

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

APS CIP as a British TV comedy show? Which one?

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fawlty Towers?

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Hello, Mr. Chadwick. This is Muffington Buffington from the Abingdon School PTA. We like to add an indoor climbing wall to the list of enhancements to the new Abingdon School. There's an elementary school in Colorado that has an indoor climbing wall and we want Arlington's kids not to be left behind the rest of America's children in this important area of physical strength and agility training.'

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Traffic and parking data? Don't worry, be happy, we can try a lighted multi-purpose synthetic field at Abingdon School for awhile and see what happens.

 
At 21 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hello, Chief Scott. This is Muffington Buffington from the Abingdon School PTA. We were wondering whether the Arlington Police Department could help us have the STOP signs near the Abingdon School replaced with YIELD signs? We are simply too pressed for time before and after dropping off our kids at the school to bother with STOP signs."

 
At 22 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Public comment session for APS CIP is tonight at the School Board.

 
At 22 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

School Board Member Abby Raphael just threw her Board colleagues under the bus with her surprise NO vote on the budget and her comments about the process.


**She failed to mention that she's happy to let the superintendent set aside money for other non-student related activities that are vanity projects.

 
At 23 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parents took the School Board to task about the CIP.

 
At 23 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Score after last night's APS CIP public comments:

Yuppie Mommies - 28

School Board - 0

 
At 23 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vanity projects? Like a $30 million boathouse complex?

 
At 23 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think THEY threw Abby and the Supe under the bus for cutting funds for basic education and instruction to fund vanity projects.

 
At 24 May, 2014 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Superintendent identified the CUT to autistic services. Abby Raphael agreed with it. Dr. Violand Sanchez proposed the amendment to restore the $270,000 ( a paltry percentage of a 500 million dollar budget.
The vote was 4 - 1 on that amendment and 4 - 1 on the overall budget. Raphael opposing.

Baird voiced surprise. Raphael did not tell her colleagues she was voting no. Therefore my conclusion is Raphael threw them under the bus by trying to position herself as the only guardian of touch choices.

Sometimes tough choices are actually the WRONG CHOICE. IMO Raphael was wrong.

 

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