Guest Post By Charles Sutherland
Whenever one hears a report on the school system of the City of Manassas, it’s always bad news.
As the Washington Post and others continue to report test scores, the Manassas City school system is at the bottom of the pile in Northern Virginia. Recent test scores resulted in Osbourn High School being reduced to provisional accreditation, making the gargantuan task of the new principal even more difficult. This deplorable set of results is achieved despite the City-wide cost- per- student of over $13,000, one of the highest in the US! The superintendent, Gail Pope, is building her empire on illegal aliens, while statistics continue to demonstrate that she and her six-figure staff members don’t know how to educate.
Add (or subtract) to this didactic disaster a few more statistics: approximately 50% of the students receive free or subsidized lunches and breakfasts; even though we are 1,000 miles from Mexico, over 48% of the student enrollment is Hispanic (and unlike people around the globe, the evidence is they don’t strive to learn English); and a survey now states that 48% of students have no respect for private property! No wonder. Free education, free meals, free medical services, free transportation, and…free legal services. Mrs. Pope’s expensive system is training a generation of free-loaders and communists.
But that’s the good…or at least ‘legal’ news. On the not-so-legal side, the school system continues to violate state law. Virginia Code § 22.1-3.1 stipulates that when enrolling for the first time, students must provide an original “certified copy of the pupil’s birth record,” and if this is not done, the principal “shall immediately notify the local law-enforcement agency.”
I sent FOIA requests to the Police Department which responded on September 12 that they have received three (3) affidavits from “July 2011 to September 2, 2011” (strangely, no specific date in July is given) and “… Any date older than these dates is maintained by the Manassas City Schools.” The police don’t keep records for more than 60 days? Really? Wow! In contrast, the City schools claim, in the aggregate, to have sent thirteen (13) affidavits this year to the police. With the exception of Mayfield and Jennie Dean Elementary School, all of the schools refuse to disclose how many students they enrolled with photocopies of birth certificates (which can be easily falsified), and without providing affidavits (also easily falsified, and require no verification). To date, Weems Elementary School and R.C. Haydon Elementary School refuse to provide any information per the FOIA request. The law is being systematically ignored by Mrs. Pope’s school system, and unlawfully enrolled students proliferate.
The City school budget now exceeds $90,000,000, of which over $50,000,000 comes from the City of Manassas (for those who failed math in this school system, that is approximately $1,000,000 per week given to Mrs. Pope and her over-paid staff – including Mrs. Pope’s personal compensation package of over $200,000 per year!). Meanwhile, the School Board bathes in its ignorant apathy and the City Council doles out more money. These misprision politicians are examples of why US education has fallen below most of the industrialized world… and why taxpayers (and parents) in Manassas are apoplectic.
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.
Leave a Reply