The Fairfax County school board is requesting that the Virginia General Assembly change the procedure under which schools advertise for bids and award contracts for school construction.
The proposal is one of several the school board endorsed last week in its legislative package. The package will be forwarded to local members of the Virginia General Assembly.
The Fairfax school board wants the General Assembly to put language into the state code that would allow school boards to advertise to contractors a fixed price and design for a school facility rather than be held to a system in which the board advertises a project and accepts the lowest bidder.
Under this "fixed-price design-build" system a contract team would construct the facilities according to the school board's previously advertised stipulations.
The Virginia attorney general recently said that under Virginia law local governments cannot use this fixed price method if the project is funded by any state money.
As a result of this statement, the school board last week transferred $750,000 in state funds from the project to construct a center for the handicapped and retarded because the project is being built under the fixed price/design method.
The $750,000 in funds for the Kilmer multi-handicapped/moderately retarded project will come from construction money previous allocated to Clearview Elementary School. The board then decide to apply to the state for $750,000 in construction funds for Clearview Elementary School, which is not being built under the fixed price method.
The board also wants the General Assembly to allow local government agencies to obtain voting lists so information can be maile to voters on bond referendums.
The school board also proposes that the school systems be allowed to charge fees for student use of school buses on optional field trips and extra-curricular activities; that the procedure covering a school board's dismissal of a teacher be simplified and clarified and that those who choose early retirement from school systems be allowed to continue as members in the state's group life insurance plan.
The legislative package also states that the board opposes any legislation that would require collective bargaining, create a new commision to regulate teachers of change the county's method of appointing school board members.
Proposals in the package support legislation that would require tha state to fund the employer's share of social security taxes and would have text-books provided for public schools students at public expense.
The board made additional proposals that require action by the Virginia Department of Education or the State Board of Education. These proposals require:
That teachers study a complete program of human relations and ethnic studies before certification.
That the state create regional libraries containing educational materials needed for state mandated curricula.
That the Department of Education reimburse localities for summer school programs in elementary schools as it now reimburses secondary scool summer programs.
That sales tax receipts be returned to localities to be used for the public schools.
That a year of science instruction be required in seventh and eight grades.
That teacher aides be certified since more are being used in public schools.