Delegate Mark Keam - Virginia's 35th House District

Washington Post publishes letter from constituent

Eric Boyle is a friend and constituent in the 35th District, who wrote to the Washington Post with a common concern of so many parents in our district.  I hope more constituents will pay attention to the short shrift we're about to receive from Richmond as the budget shortfall is expected to harm Fairfax County more than other localities.

Fighting for Fairfax kindergartners

By Eric Boyle

Regarding the Feb. 2 Metro article "Banding together in protest":

As the parent of two children in Fairfax County Public Schools, I, too, have been fighting to protect programs. But I was disappointed that this article focused only on the pageantry and the preparation skills of the protesters. The discussion should also include the impact on academic achievement and return on investment.

I am working with dozens of Fairfax parents who are deeply concerned about full-day kindergarten. Some of us have opened Facebook groups; we also have online petitions with hundreds of signatures; and we are vigorously writing to our elected officials.

Those most affected by these cuts include people who may not be fully cognizant of the ongoing discussions – parents of incoming kindergartners, especially from poorer or immigrant communities. By investing in those children's educations early, Fairfax could save future expenditures to help some of these children catch up to their peers.

At a recent budget hearing, when I pleaded my case just as passionately as those in band uniform or speaking foreign languages, I noted that the children I'm fighting for couldn't attend. It was already past their bedtime.

// By editors  |  February 4, 2010; 7:44 PM ET

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