Ohneiser: Being Educated Means Actually Paying Attention

Bob Ohneiser, Esq., lives in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Over my eight years representing the Broadrun District on the Loudoun County School Board there were many issues to learn about and participate in resolving. As a practicing lawyer with three children in LCPS [Loudoun County Public Schools] I felt the pressure to deeply understand issues before voting.

What I unfortunately learned over that time and have seen even more dramatically since then is how little school board members pay attention to details and logic.

It seems more like a positive head shaking contest whenever the Superintendent speaks instead of performing a check and balance function as required under state law.

Here are some examples which readers can consider:

  1. Statute 22.1-79 specifically mandates school boards operate under an utmost efficient manner, yet the current school board hasn’t even asked what is not being spent currently as most of the schools have been closed for seven months.
  2. With the power of criminal enforcement LCPS can mandate parents to bring their children into the school system for universal, “almost free” education, yet they don’t think twice about the conflict caused by expelling a student or charging $100.00/student per sport students choose to participate in.
  3. Parents are considered crucial in supporting school budget approvals, yet the system stubbornly refuses to allow parents to have meaningful input into staff performance considerations.
  4. Knowing all property owners in the County pay to support the school system the school board still acts as if they are the union representatives for the staff, as services which could be easily provided at no extra cost to home schoolers are denied.
  5. Almost all school board members “talk” about how terrible it would be if bullying was occurring, yet they refuse to ask the Superintendent for a report showing evidence of such bullying, including what was done to mitigate it.
  6. Then there is the real estate development quagmire. School Board members know of the turmoil school boundary changes cause yet they refuse to demand all schools within the catchment area for attending the new school be reviewed for expansion prior to the hearings.

Does the real estate development community own everyone in this county? 

References:

  1. https://law.justia.com/codes/virginia/2014/title-22.1/