Skip to main content

Syndicate contentlouise epstein

George Mason study lauds Fairfax County schools’ gifted programs

Reporter(s)/Author(s): 
T. Rees Shapiro
Published on: 
Thu, 06/27/2013
Media Source: 
Washington Post

Beverly Jurenko, president of the Fairfax County Association of the Gifted, said she was surprised to see so few recommendations for changes to the program....

Louise Epstein, Chairman: Email To School Board, June 5, 2013

June 8, 2013 by Greg Brandon

Dear School Board Members,

On behalf of the Fairfax Education Coalition, I encourage you to give substantial weight to the recommendations of your Ad Hoc Community Committee on Student Rights & Responsibilities when voting on tomorrow night's amendments.

As designed by the board, the committee comprehensively engaged representatives for all stakeholders. It genuinely reflected community perspectives on the difficult discipline issues with which you entrusted it. We were impressed by this community engagement process, and appreciate your work and the work of the committee members.

Sincerely,

Louise Epstein

Chair, Fairfax Education Coalition

Testimony by Louise Epstein: May 13, 2013: FCPS FY 2014 Budget

June 8, 2013 by Greg Brandon

FCPS Budget Hearing Testimony

Louise Epstein, Chair, Fairfax Education Coalition

May 13, 2013

Louise Epstein, Chairman: School Board BudgetTestimony, May 15, 2012

May 16, 2012 by Louise Epstein

[FEC Chairman Louise Epstein provided this testimony to the School Board on May 15, 2012.]

Good evening. My name is Louise Epstein, and tonight I am speaking as the chair of the bipartisan Fairfax Education Coalition.

Our coalition advocates for improved transparency, public engagement and accountability and includes the Fairfax Education Association, Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, FAIRGRADE, SLEEP, FairfaxCAPS, Fairfax County Association for the Gifted, Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform, Real Food For Kids and Restore Honors Courses. Our members also are active in The Coalition of The Silence, the FCCPTA and school PTAs.

First, thank you for starting your budget mark-up with the Advertised Budget you voted for, rather than the Superintendent’s revisions. As some of you noted during your budget work session, this improves transparency by clearly showing the changes from your Advertised Budget to the final FY 2013 budget.

We also want to thank you for making time to consider the public’s testimony, before you submit your proposed amendments to the budget. Next year, we hope that you will provide more time. In addition, you may want to look at the format of the MCPS budget documents as a model to improve transparency. That format also reduces the need for budget questions, which should help address Supervisor concerns.

This year, the crucial question is whether FCPS should phase in the VRS changes over 5 years or implement them in one year. Our research, although not comprehensive, suggests that most Virginia school districts are choosing to phase in the VRS changes gradually.

http://blogs.roanoke.com/botetourtview/2012/04/fy-13-budget-tweaked-by-s...

In light of what we have learned, we recommend that you phase in the VRS change by 1% in FY 2013.

This will give you more flexibility to fund other priorities. It also will give you time to obtain and carefully assess the arguments and data about the impact on how to best phase in the remaining VRS changes.

In evaluating the Superintendent’s suggestion that you immediately implement the full 5% VRS change, we also suggest you consider experts’ recommendations about how to avoid potential abuses of defined benefit pension plans. Actuaries counsel against large salary increases for employees nearing retirement since such increases, sometimes referred to as "spiking," put an additional strain on pension plans. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, anti-spiking policies ensure actuarial integrity and transparency.

http://www.nirsonline.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=613&...

Evaluating these and other relevant considerations would be a good project for School Board staff and/or for a truly Independent Auditor who reports to a truly independent Audit Committee. Accordingly, we urge you to include funding for School Board staff and an Independent Auditor in the FY 2013 Budget. Once they are hired, you can ask them for an independent analysis of budget issues before you have to vote on the FY 2014 Advertised Budget.

Thank you.

Louise Epstein, Chairman: Board of Supervisor Testimony, Apr. 10, 2012

April 12, 2012 by Louise Epstein

[FEC Chairman Louise Epstein provided this testimony to the Board of Supervisors on April 10, 2012.]

Good evening. My name is Louise Epstein, and tonight I am speaking as the chair of the Fairfax Education Coalition.

Our bipartisan coalition is dedicated to improving public involvement in the Fairfax County Public Schools and advocating for improved transparency, public engagement and accountability. Currently, our coalition includes the Fairfax Education Association, Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, FAIRGRADE, SLEEP, FairfaxCAPS, Fairfax County Association for the Gifted, Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform and Real Food For Kids. We also have members who are active in Coalition of The Silence, the FCCPTA and school PTAs. In addition, three former Coalition members now serve on the School Board.

Budget Testimony by Louise Epstein, Chairman of the FEC

February 5, 2012 by Louise Epstein

[The following testimony was delivered by FEC Chair Louise Epstein during the Public Hearing on the FCPS FY 2013 Advertised Budget on January 30, 2012. Greg Brandon, Web Editor]

Grass-roots revolt likely to shake up Fairfax schools

Published on: 
Sun, 10/30/2011
Media Source: 
Washington Post

Rarely, if ever, has the nationally acclaimed Fairfax school system looked ahead to such a turbulent change in leadership.

Premium Drupal Themes by Adaptivethemes