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Saying No To “Stimulus”

By Greg L | 24 August 2010 | Prince William County | 37 Comments

Tonight at the Board of Supervisors meeting there’s an agenda item to discuss accepting one-time “stimulus” money to add to the payroll of the school system, something a lot of TEA Party movement people don’t particularly care for.  If you don’t support the debt and spending policies of the federal government, and don’t want future budgets distorted by today’s federal “giveaways”, being at the McCoart Building tonight would be a good investment of your time.

From the Prince William County Tea Party:

PWC Tea Party:

August 24, 2010

Subject: Emergency Meeting Prince William County Board of Supervisors - Vote to Accept Federal Stimulus Funds to Hire Additional Teachers

Time: 7:00 PM, August 24th (Tonight)

Location: Board Chambers, McCoart Administrative Bldg, Woodbridge
(The McCoart Bldg is located on the Prince William Parkway)

Dear Tea Party Patriots:

Please attend the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) Meeting tonight at 7:00 PM. They have scheduled a meeting and vote on accepting Federal stimulus money to hire 180 additional teachers. The funds are for one year only. They plan to retain the teachers which means it will impact the county budget in 2011 and beyond. In short your taxes will go up.

There will be an opportunity for you to speak on this proposed action tonight.

This is a time when you can be heard and take action to stop this needless expense.

Nancy Schiffman
Chairwoman, PWC TPP

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.

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  1. Disgusted said on 24 Aug 2010 at 5:08 pm:
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    Good idea! Let’s turn down federal money for schools (that’s gonna be spent elsewhere if we don’t take it) so my kids can be crammed in classes like sardines. We should shortchange ourselves and our future and buy that 50″ flatscreen instead with the money (per capita) that’s saved by turning down the stimulus funding.

  2. anonymous said on 24 Aug 2010 at 5:22 pm:
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    Guess what, your kids are going to be crammed into a classroom like sardines anyhow…money or no money. If your student is a regular education, english speaking child, they spend minimal on them anyways…and stimulus money is not going to help that.

  3. Rgdfry said on 24 Aug 2010 at 7:04 pm:
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    Last year the PW School Board just gave all of their employees a 3.5 percent raise to spend what the eagle crapped. . . Looks like the board needs to increase the size of the union this year. . . These two PW Board responses will both add to your local tax burden in future years. The county should forego this handout, which actually steals money from your children and grand children as future American taxpayers.

  4. Pendragon said on 24 Aug 2010 at 7:10 pm:
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    The tea party really doesn’t understand does it? They will be paying for the stimulus with federal taxes whether they take the money or not. The funds will go somewhere.

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, especially when it is unaccompanied by common sense.

  5. Rgdfry said on 24 Aug 2010 at 7:47 pm:
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    Not a tea partier, but they make some good points. PWC is not in dire straights in need of taking a federal handout. The school board could and should live within its means.

  6. Russ said on 24 Aug 2010 at 7:51 pm:
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    Why won’t people wake up to the garbage and agenda put forth in public schools. They don’t teach us about life issues. Just I’m OK your OK. They have taken competion away that made us tough, and everyone gets to feel happy with themselves. History is a fabrication of the truth. They dont even touch on the most important thing to survive in this society money and finance. The financial system set up to enslave all of us and by the look of the economy they have accomplished it all. And what do people complain about? Not enough money for teachers. It would be one thing if there was competition among the schools and teachers, but there isn’t, and there is no motivation for those other than the few with a concience to make it better.
    I work across the street from Osbourn Park High School and when he busses leave in the afternoon a majority have fewer than 10 -15 students on them. Who is running transportation and why do we have that many buses. Looks like we could get rid of half of them and the drivers. Our company is in the delivery business and if we ran it like that we wouldnt have a business . We need to get the federal government out of education (among other things). Since it was taken under their wing they have spent billions on education and test scores dont reflect the investment. From interviewing high school job applicants it appears to me they are taught to take SAT test and not how to think.
    Wake up people, your freedoms are being eroded. If you want the government to take care of you, I know of a couple Countries that would gladly support you in exchange for letting them spend your money, please consider the move. And since when is it the reponsibility of the government to tax those without children for the benefit of those with children? Yes, I have kids (4) and was educated in this County in the 60’s and 70’s, and I wouldnt give you a nickle to subject them to the agenda they would be exposed to today. So at our own expense we pay for the optional education and get no support from all the taxes we pay to help your kids get educated. Yes its our chioce to do that but I believe it will benefit them in the long run and they will know the truth about everything and be able to find the answers if they dont.
    It took me 30 years to figure this all out paying the ignorance tax, because I believed the accountants about deductions on the almighty tax return. Take a look at your expenses, look where you money goes - track it. Its all geared to enslave us. Wake up. Your not free until you are debt free, and with our representatives decisions that may not happen in ours or our childrens lifetimes. What good is an education if they dont have a Country or the freedom to profit from their own labor, and efforts, and make their own decisions on how to spend their money?

  7. Jaspar said on 24 Aug 2010 at 8:51 pm:
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    Kevin Raymond cried at citizens’ time demanding the BOCS take the loot to fund more Democrat-voting teacher union members.

    Gee, this guy is a loon and a hoot.

    He reminded me of Barney Fife, albeit with a squirt gun and a displaced hemorrhoid in the right lobe of his brain.

  8. Ron Homan said on 24 Aug 2010 at 9:14 pm:
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    Approximately 24% of high school graduates cannot pass college entrance exams in math and english. Most current high school graduates can put a condom on a cucumber, however.

  9. G Man said on 24 Aug 2010 at 10:32 pm:
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    Well this was one of the more interesting board meetings, and would make a good page turner as it was filled with intrigue and a plot that slowly thickened like a good rue, but the real cherry on top was at the end when Principi proved once again what a baffoon he is. It’s too late to reveal any details but I am reminded of that old adage “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

  10. june bug said on 24 Aug 2010 at 11:24 pm:
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    Yes indeed,the Meeting was really great entertainment. Didn’t do much good to have the teachers there and they are the ones who try to please the Superintendent.

    For this big giant overstep the School Board needs to send him packing. If they do not want to look like fools, then he needs to go.

    What we need is at least a raise or cost of living for all the teachers,not just the group that teach in all the special needs classes.

    And Mr Raymond,he didn’t know what to say with his mentor (JJ) out of town. He was lost on his own,altho I noticed he is more lost these days than ever.

    And the Woodbridge Supervisor walking out.He thought he was putting on a show,but all he did was prove once again,that he does not belong there.

    Hear his next escapade his where he thinks the boundries should be. And new names for many of the Districts. Keep tuned.

  11. Charles said on 24 Aug 2010 at 11:37 pm:
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    I loved it. The teachers and PWEA rep all talking about how much they care about the children, to justify spending our children’s money for extra union dues. Hearing how Watts just cares so much for our children that he couldn’t stand the idea of them being inconvenienced by having extra teachers added.

    The idea that if we got new teachers, we’d stick them together in classes and let them team-teach — because you know, nothing makes as much sense as taking one person’s job, and paying two people to do it together at the same time. Imagine a private sector employer explaining how he was going to hire two welders to fill an assembly line position, and just let them take turns. Even the auto unions know that is so stupid that they instead have layoff and pay people NOT to show up for work.

    And then Principi, there to talk, there to vote, until he realised that Nohe wasn’t on his side, and that they were actually going to vote to stop the hiring. Then the wheels spinning slowly, slowly, as he formulates a plan — “I’ll vote with my feet”. They talk about it for a while, and then while he stands at the door looking lost and confused, they TAKE THE VOTE. Hilarious. Then he leaves.

  12. Freedom said on 25 Aug 2010 at 5:15 am:
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    Russ and Charles, I couldn’t agree with you more!!!

    It doesn’t matter how much money the school system needs, they will ALWAYS want more!! …and don’t you think it’s about time that we teach the school children what to do with all the credit card applications they get/will get? …and why it’s important that before buying a house, one assess their situation and decide if they truly can afford it?

  13. Dixie Girl said on 25 Aug 2010 at 7:15 am:
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    Talk about getting caught with your hands in the cookie jar! Enthusiasm or not, this action should in no way be compared to college campus recruiting! Campus recruiting occurs well before seniors graduate……we are talking about contingent hiring, starting immediately, and without authority.

    We must insist on teacher accountability. One practice that needs to stop - teachers performing NEA activities during school hours, time where teachers park students in front of the TV to watch a movie.

    Virginians need to send a message from the ground up - if you don’t have it, don’t spend it.

  14. Riley said on 25 Aug 2010 at 9:40 am:
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    Guess what. The money that Superintendent Walts is already spending hasn’t even been accepted by the state yet or allocated among the counties for that matter. The reality is, no one knows how much money the county would even get if it even gets any money. Plus, this is a one-time shot of funds, so any teachers hired with this money would have to be laid off when it goes away.

  15. Riley said on 25 Aug 2010 at 10:28 am:
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    Here’s a full rundown on what happened last night.


  16. Freedom said on 25 Aug 2010 at 12:37 pm:
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    Oh no Riley, they wouldn’t be “laid off”…at least not without a lot of squeeling on the part of the school board!! The school board would expect county taxpayers to pick up the tab for the extra teachers next year and beyond.

  17. G Man said on 25 Aug 2010 at 2:15 pm:
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    I’d say Walts was suffering from that “Audacity of Hope” syndrome. It takes alot of AUDACITY to proceed to hire teachers on just a HOPE that the county will get some money, and a HOPE that despite the elected representatives of this county - the School Board, and the BOCS had not decided to use this money, and a HOPE that there might be another rabbit he could pull out of his a** to continue to pay for the teachers after this year, that he was going ahead and doing it anyway. Sound like anyone else in power these days?

  18. Riley said on 25 Aug 2010 at 3:13 pm:
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    Freedom, of course, you are correct. I think that is what Walts was counting on happening.

  19. cdubbs said on 25 Aug 2010 at 4:19 pm:
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    Mike May was a genius in the move to secure the vote while Principi was still standing around long enough to count as a quorum. I am a teacher in the public schools. And a retired Marine. I understand fully and accept unconditionally that I serve at the pleasure of the taxpayers. I am not owed a job if the money is not there, or if the taxpayers decide to go in another direction. The students are going to do just fine without 150 more teachers standing around. Dr. Walts needs to spend his time thinking about how to staff things with what the taxpayers have already given him, not what he might get. Today’s students will face many challenges in the years ahead that they would not otherwise have had to face because of the disastrous lack of leadership in our government today. One lesson that they need to learn right now is that you can’t go on paying people with monopoly money.

  20. Jaspar said on 25 Aug 2010 at 5:12 pm:
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    My sources tell me that Dr. Walts is a frequent patron of Sweetwater in Centreville.

    Perhaps he needs to find more solace by quitting his job here, moving to Fairfax County, and hanging with those put Obama bumper stickers on their kids school backpacks.

  21. BattleCat said on 25 Aug 2010 at 7:24 pm:
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    I love the “everyone else is taking it, so why shouldn’t we?” argument. That “free money” almost ALWAYS has strings attached to it. I’m pretty sure I know the teacher money has some pretty severe budget-busting strings attached to it. But the “gimme, gimme, gimme” folks will still cry, won’t they?

  22. VA_Magoo said on 25 Aug 2010 at 8:34 pm:
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    Well done to all that attended! Wish I could have been there!

  23. Monster_Mom said on 25 Aug 2010 at 9:32 pm:
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    Here are a few points you may have missed on the issue. PWCS has been offered $15 million to hire teachers. The money must be used this year and it must be used to hire teachers - not administrators, not pay off our debt (which costs almost $1000 per student per year in interest), not to buy more trailers, not buy instructional materials or other materials to prepare a classroom. Nope. To hire new teachers. And it will be gone next year which means all those new teachers will get fired at the end of the year.

    We’re now about 1 1/2 weeks from the start of the school year. Because PWCS was able to make other cuts and find other funds, we didn’t have to lay off any teachers or administrators. Our class sizes are going to go up, and they will be among the highest in the region.

    But what will hiring $15 million worth of new teachers for one year get us? Lots of new and inexperienced teachers who have no classrooms and no instructional materials or classroom materials (remember - the money has to be used to hire teachers, not buy trailers or textbooks or desks or chairs). A one year drop in class sizes (remember the money has to be spent this year).

    Kinda sounds like a big fat waste of money. We should send it back.

  24. Monster_Mom said on 25 Aug 2010 at 9:43 pm:
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    Another point I forgot. The money wasn’t part of the stimulus (ARRA). It was part of the $26 million keeping teachers working bill that just passed Congress.

    ARRA is a whole different hill of beans.

    Oh - and the much bigger fish is the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) set to go before Congress when they return from vacation. ESEA (also known as NCLB) expired in 2007 and is automatically renewed every year until a new bill is passed. The President posted his “blueprint for reform” in March which outlines the “reforms” he’s hoping to implement in the public schools.

    One of the biggest reforms is the imposition of national academic standards and assessments for all subjects studied in K - 12. The current version of ESEA, NCLB, specifically prohibits the US Dept of Education from requiring states to adopt and / or implement national standards, curricula, and assessment in order to receive federal funds for education. Obama’s version of ESEA REQUIRES states to adopt common national standards and assessment to be eligible for federal funds for education.

    I can’t help but wonder what our candidates for Congress think about the feds mandating national standards and assessments.

  25. Pendragon said on 25 Aug 2010 at 10:40 pm:
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    Just say no to national standards.

  26. Anon said on 26 Aug 2010 at 4:46 am:
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    National Standards would not be a bad idea especially for all the military kids. I can’t tell you how many times we move into a new area and the curriculum is totally different. Then we have to supplement all the stuff our children was missing since we just moved into the area.

  27. G Man said on 26 Aug 2010 at 6:26 am:
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    Monster_Mom did you attend or see the BOCS session? Melissa Peacor indicated there were several areas the funds could be used for besides hiring teachers. For example, I believe Arlington Co. had planned to have several furlough days, and the funds allow them to eliminate those days. She also reported on what neighboring counties were doing with the funds and NONE of the others were using them at this time to hire teachers. So I am not sure you have you facts correct.

  28. Monster_Mom said on 26 Aug 2010 at 8:56 am:
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    I have my facts straight from a school board member and they concur with what Ms Peacor stated, with the exception that the funds can be used in the 2011 / 2012 school year. I agree with Ms Peacor’s recommendation that any decision on the use of these funds be deferred until we know something about whether the money will be provided and how much will be provided.

    Loudoun has decided to use the funds, assuming they are allocated, to eliminate furloughs. PWCS was able to trim its budget and had no planned furloughs, so that idea doesn’t apply to us. Alexandria is waiting to make any decision. Fairfax is considering extending instruction time, but waiting to see how much will be allocated.

    I think the BOCS made the right decision to stop the PWCS from hiring new teachers until we know whether the “estimated” $15 million will allocated and what restrictions will apply to it.

  29. G Man said on 26 Aug 2010 at 10:43 am:
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    Doesn’t your above statement about Londoun contradict your 9:32 AM statement: “The money must be used to hire teachers?” Eliminating furloughs is not hiring.

  30. lilpatriot said on 26 Aug 2010 at 3:07 pm:
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    I would like to call everyone’s attention to the presentation at the Aug. 24 BOCS meeting given by Melissa Peacor. Please access the video from the BOCS website under the link for Board Video and then click on 2010. Ms. Peacor’s presentation gives a lot of information, but since the guidelines for this money have yet to be written, there are still some unknowns regarding it’s use. I believe you will find her presentation informational and would ask you to study carefully the items under the title, “Financial Management Policies”.

    The FY 2012 budget process is just getting underway, so this is a good time to get informed and involved.

  31. Freedom said on 26 Aug 2010 at 6:53 pm:
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    Regardess if what ultimately happens with this issue, Principi’s threat to “vote with his feet” not only denied Woodbridge representation in the vote, it ended up more like a “fumble over his feet.”

    Slick move, I’d say the current score is kinda like Mike May - 1; Frank Principi - zip

  32. Monster_Mom said on 27 Aug 2010 at 10:20 am:
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    G Man - PWCS didn’t have a furlough. PWCS didn’t have a layoff. Therefore the money in PWCS can only be used to hire teachers or support staff. That Loudoun has decided it will use the money to cancel a proposed furlough is irrelevant to us in PWCS because we don’t have one planned.

    lilpatriot - you are correct. Ms Peacor’s presentation was clear, concise, and well researched. She addressed open issues and justified the action she supported. If every presentation from PWCS staff was as clear and articulate as hers was, I suspect there wouldn’t be so much conflict between PWCS and the PW BOCS.

  33. Anonymous said on 28 Aug 2010 at 7:25 am:
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    Go ahead and reject the money. They can give it to another county but you guys can still pay for it.

  34. ... said on 29 Aug 2010 at 9:20 am:
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    “The money must be used this year and it must be used to hire teachers - not administrators, not pay off our debt (which costs almost $1000 per student per year in interest), not to buy more trailers, not buy instructional materials or other materials to prepare a classroom. Nope. To hire new teachers. And it will be gone next year which means all those new teachers will get fired at the end of the year.”

    It’s a jobs program! Stimulus spending for the NEA!

  35. Jack said on 30 Aug 2010 at 10:03 am:
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    Rejecting the money is like telling a thief that, to protest the theft, we will not accept any of our money back.

  36. Monster_Mom said on 30 Aug 2010 at 11:09 am:
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    The BOCS didn’t reject the money. There is no money to reject.

    In order for PWC to receive the money PWCS has to apply to the state. In order for Virginia to receive the money the VA DOE has to apply to the US Dept of Education. In order to disburse the money the US Dept of Education has to set the rules for states to qualify to receive the money.

    None of that has happened.

    The US Dept of Education hasn’t finished drafting the rules states’ have to meet to be eligible to receive the funds. Because the rules haven’t been written, Virginia hasn’t applied to be eligible to receive funds. The deadline for filing is Sept 9, so if Virginia chooses to apply, it will submit its application by Sept 9. Because Virginia hasn’t sent in an application and hasn’t clarified what formula will be used to disburse funds to localities, PWCS has no idea whether it will receive any funds or how much it will receive.

    Based on the expectation that Virginia will apply for and be rewarded funds from the US Dept of Ed and that PWCS will be allocated $15 million of those funds, PWCS asked the BOCS to allocate $15 million to it so that it could begin hiring new teachers.

    That’s putting the cart waaaaay before the horse and the BOCS, rightly so in my opinion, deferred allocating additional funds to PWCS until the we have a better idea of how much we’ll receive, assuming we receive anything.

  37. BristowBristling said on 6 Sep 2010 at 8:27 pm:
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    Maybe the answer is to have the School Board manage their budget in these hard economic times vs asking for more and more. I’ve about had enough of the School system receiving benefits and increases while County government workers are held to task with no Cost of Living raises, a loss of their matching 401a, increases in health care premiums and so forth. Believe it or not, I support our schools. But……… I also firmly think the School Board needs to start looking at the broad picture in County government. The Board of County Supervisors are right in closely watching where the tax dollar goes. If the School employees get a benefit…….give County employees one too. Lets start making this a little more equitable. If that can’t be done, then there isn’t enough money for them to play with. Everyone is hurting.

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