Not only doesn’t Gerry Connolly have any desire to address the issue of illegal aliens in Fairfax County, he won’t even permit government officials to tell him that a problem exists. This week Fairfax Superintendent Jack Dale gave a presentation to the Board of County Supervisors on the outlook for Fairfax County Schools next year and pointed out that about a thousand new students will attend Fairfax County Schools who were formerly enrolled in Prince William County. Connolly was pretty upset that a local official would explain why Fairfax County taxpayers are going to be on the hook for about eight to twelve million dollars more in education spending, preferring one would surmise that the local costs of Fairfax County’s sanctuary policies should be hidden from the taxpayers.
Fairfax County Public Schools has seen an unexpected increase in student enrollment of approximately 2,500, in part because about 1,000 students from Prince William County moved to Fairfax schools.
“You can see a definite exodus,” said Fairfax’s Superintendent Jack Dale, who added that the students have been tracked using their transcripts.
At least one member of Dale’s staff, the school’s acting chief operating officer Susan Quinn, implied that the students had moved from Prince William County because of that locality’s effort to crackdown on illegal immigration. Critics of Prince William’s efforts have accused the county of scaring away legal immigrants, as well as illegal immigrants, with its new policies.
“We are seeing a significant increase in enrollment, due to decisions made by neighboring jurisdictions,” said Quinn, who was quickly interrupted by Fairfax County Boad of Supervisors chairman Gerry Connolly (D).
“I hope you didn’t say what I think you just did,” said Connolly in the middle of Quinn’s presentation.
Connolly absolutely refuses to allow anyone to explain why, after five straight years of decreasing enrollments, Fairfax County would see a jump in enrollments precisely when Prince William County started a crackdown against illegal immigration. The media frequently reports on self-described illegal aliens leaving Prince William County and moving to Fairfax County, the school system has connected the rather obvious dots, and it is only those politicians fearful of the truth that can’t tolerate anyone explaining a pretty obvious reality for fear of violating liberal orthodoxy. Gerry Connolly is the standard-bearer of these frightened, guilt-ridden liberal elites.
But the fact that Prince William cracked down on illegal immigrants, and that Fairfax did not, most likely had consequences, said Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield).
“Members of this board are putting their heads in the sand about why [Prince William residents] came here. … Maybe a few came because of gas prices, a few,” said Herrity.
That kind of attitude — one of hiding from the truth — would hardly serve Gerry Connolly well were he to win against Keith Fiminan in the 11th Congressional District. Setting policy hampered by a refusal to acknowledge the truth is ridiculously stupid, and guaranteed to result in failure. Can anyone imagine setting national security or economic policies this way? When philosophy trumps facts in policy development and decision making, you end up with wonderful concepts like “dictatorship of the proletariat” and “The New Soviet Man”. It simply doesn’t work.
Part of the increase in Fairfax County school enrollments is certainly due to illegal aliens leaving Prince William County, as the evidence to support this conclusion is pretty overwhelming. The other component here is the increase not attributed to transfers from Prince William County — new students from other areas. Not only is Prince William County discouraging illegal aliens from continuing to unlawfully live in Prince William, but it is also discouraging new illegal aliens from coming in the first place. Fairfax is a likely and attractive alternative location, and easier to find housing in than Arlington. Because it is differentially much more attractive for illegal aliens than Prince William County, a significant proportion of the 1,500 students who didn’t come from Prince William County may well be illegal aliens also. Such is the result of leaving out the welcome mat, as Connolly has done.
Also of note here is that according to Jack Dale, 80% of Prince William County’s student outflux has landed in Fairfax County. If that figure for Fairfax County is a thousand students, why would the Washington Post be reporting that Prince William County’s reduction in ESOL enrollments amounts to 629 students? Based on the figures from Fairfax County Schools, that number likely exceeds 1,200 students since Fairfax can’t enroll more students from Prince William County than have left Prince William. The DC Examiner reported that the number of ESOL students leaving Prince William is about 1,200, which matches what Fairfax County’s figures would suggest. Is the Post using bad statistics, or getting bad statistics from PWCPS officials who want to inflate enrollment statistics in order to qualify for higher funding?
Meanwhile Fairfax County taxpayers are going to start paying a lot more as a consequence of their policies that encourage illegal aliens to unlawfully reside there. They can thank Gerry Connolly for that.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.