Turning aside objections by members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the county school board voted early yesterday to seek a June 14 bond referendum totaling $24.8 million.
The supervisors must act on the proposal no later than at their April 12 meeting to comply with deadline requirements for a vote June 14, the date of the primary election.
The bond proposal was approved by a 9-to-1 vote. The only dissenter was Vice Chairman Anthony T. Lane, who represents the Lee district.
"I have grave doubts that June 14 is the appropriate date," Lane said. He said he had been told by a number of high-placed Fairfax officials and citizen leaders that a school bond referendum in the spring might fail.
County voters approved a $17 million school bond referendum last year after turning down the two previous school bond proposals.
Some supervisors have complained that there is not enough time to review a request for a June 14 referendum. They also are fearful that a school bond referendum on that date could be jeopardized because voters also will be deciding that day on $51.5 million worth of bonds south for county and regional park acquisition and improvements.
At least five of the nine supervisors have said, publicly or privately, that they would rather defer a school bond referendum until the November election.
Last Monday, the supervisors approved the June 14 date for the park bond vote.
School Board Chairman Rodney F. Page rejected complaints by supervisors that they had not been informed about the school system's intention to seek a spring referendum.
"That is not true." Page said. "We first acted on the June 14 date last December."
Page also pointed out that the county's own capital improvement document, published late last year, said "approval of referendums this spring is critical to capital needs in . . . schools, parks and storm drainage."
The $24.8 million bond proposal actually is more than $5 million dollars more than School Supt. S. John Davis originally proposed.
New construction with such bond money would include two elementary schools in the Reston-Herdon area, a center for emotionally disturbed students and a secondary school center for the physically handicapped in the southern part of the county, modernization of 11 elementary schools, one intermediate school and four high schools.
Under the school board's plan, the $24.8 million proposal would be broken into two questions. Under the first, $18,765,000 would be used for new construction and all modernization work except air-conditioning. The second question would seek $5,975,000 for air-conditioning in refurbished schools.
In related action, the school board approved a $125 million capital construction plan for the next five fiscal years.
The board also turned down two proposals to start a year-round education program in the Herndon-Reston area and refused to study the feasibility of the plan.