Excellence in education…and government -- Gazette.Net


Recently, one of my colleagues, Ilryong Moon, Fairfax County School Board member at-large, published a letter of support for President Barack Obama’s re-election. The issues raised beg a response, as well as the fact that it was signed under Moon’s current role as “chairman.”

As the mother of four current and former Fairfax County Public School students, one each in college, high school, elementary and preschool, excellence in education is “deeply personal” to me as well, as Moon cited.

Preparing our children to be future leaders and productive citizens is a remarkable responsibility, whether as a parent or school system. However, accountability — in education and government — is crucial.

In Fairfax County, one of the largest school systems in the nation, sadly more than one in every four students now qualifies for “Free and Reduced Meals” as a result of rising poverty. Yet, inexplicably Moon’s advocates to re-elect a president who has presided over an unprecedented 45.9 percent increase in the number of people, almost 47 million, dependent upon Food Stamps — that’s one in seven Americans.

Since Obama took office, 4.8 million more women are unemployed or no longer in the work force. Unemployment rates for minority women are among the bleakest. Is this the future — the “forward” — we want for our students?

Moon notes Obama made “affordable loans available to more than 175,000 hard-working students.” The trouble is that no matter how “hard-working” they are as students, the dismal job prospects thereafter means the greater likelihood is that they will be “hardly working” — and that those loans won’t be repaid.

In Virginia, the impact of Obama’s leadership of near-zero growth is bordering on catastrophic with sequestration, now a looming threat for an estimated 200,000 people (jobs), plus incalculable economic consequences for businesses.

Moon states we “must demand high standards from our leaders.” However, the stunning lack of accountability on the grievous tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, the Fast and Furious scandal, Executive Orders, Constitutional overreach and more has been systemic in an administration Obama has touted as “the most transparent and ethical in U.S. History.”

The charges Moon levies against Mitt Romney — “supports massive cuts in education, would hurt Virginia’s schools, make it harder for our students to succeed” — employ scare-tactics rather than educating voters, which would have been far more apropos for a school board member.

While governor of Massachusetts, Romney created opportunities such as the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. For the graduating class of 2012, more than 18,000 students earned the scholarship, which wisely requires they maintain grades in college. Due to Romney’s vision, they receive four free years of tuition at any state college or university.

As governor, Romney inherited a state which ranked dead last at 50th in the nation in terms of job creation and led their progress to 28th. More people working leads to growth and prosperity, an economic future into which we want to graduate the nation’s students, including ours in Fairfax County.

On a final note, Moon chose to sign the letter “Chairman” of the Fairfax County School Board. Without a disclaimer indicating it was written in his individual capacity, the letter implies the support of the Board.

This is no small matter, as one of every seven votes in Virginia is cast in Fairfax County, identified as one of 12 key swing counties nationwide. Every effort should have been made to ensure that neither the Board’s support nor influence was implied in Moon’s opinion.

I do look forward to many in joining me in electing Mitt Romney for a better future for our students, as well as for prosperity for Fairfax County, Virginia and the nation.

Elizabeth L. Schultz

Fairfax County School Board

Springfield District

The views presented are provided in my individual capacity and do not represent the opinion of the Fairfax County School Board.

Data cited is from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.