A legislative package being studied by the Fairfax County School Board would prevent a replay of the "now you see it, now you don't" game played last year by government officials over aid to public schools.
The proposal, presented at last week's school board meeting, asks the General Assembly for sufficient funds to pay for any new state-mandated programs, and is part of a legislative package to be considered at the board meeting next Thursday night. If approved, the entire package will be presented to the General Assembly when it opens its 1981 session in January. p
Legislative proposals, assembled at the beginning of each school year, outline the school board's position on pending legislation and generally include several of the board's own proposals.
Board members said the proposals for sufficient funding was prompted after the General Assembly failed during its 1980 session to allocate enough money to pay for changes required by state legislation, such as a reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio.
The funding problem, board members noted, raised the ire of school boards around the state, with some even threatening legal action.
The legislative package also is expected to include a request for authorization to charge tuition of students whose parents reside on military bases, if federal impact aid is cut off.
The tuition request is in response to repeated threats by federal officials to terminate or severely reduce impact aid.
School officials reason that military families pay no local real-estate taxes to help finance schools. Impact aid is provided by the federal government to offset the cost of educating those students.
Under present law, however, local school districts are obligated to provide a free education for those children even if the federal government refused to pay. The major military base within Fairfax is Fort Belvoir.
In other matters at the meeting last week, the board was presented the results of a human-relations audit of 6,230 elementary, intermediate and high school students. The survey was designed to measure how students view the school system's treatment of racial and religious minorities.
At the meeting, school officials pointed out several areas that showed a dramatic increase in positive responses -- such as weather teachers hold equal expectations for white and non-white students.
In 1977, only 43 percent of the black high school students surveyed said their teachers expected them to do as well academically as whites. This year, however, 86 percent of the black high school students questioned said their teachers expected them to do their best work.
School officials did note that several areas were still in need of improvement. For instance, in response to a question about whether minorities and women are portrayed in classroom materials, only 11 percent of white and 14 percent of black high school students said they were in 1977.
This year, 44 percent of the white and 32 percent of black high school students said they learned about the changing roles of men and women.
School board member Robert Frye said he found some of the results "fairly disturbing" but expressed confidence that the "newly invigorated" human relations department would correct the problems.