After a year's delay, Fairfax County school officials are resuming plans to build a new elementary school near the Kingstowne development in the southeastern part of the county.
With the slowing of the local real estate market, officials last year shelved the planned Kingstowne school because not enough students were expected in the area. In this year's version of the rolling five-year capital improvements plan, officials propose reinstating it by spending $380,000 in the 1993-94 school year for planning.
The move does not guarantee that the school will be built, only that it has begun the long process toward that goal.
Assuming that the School Board ratifies the capital plan as expected, construction money for the school must eventually be placed on a countywide bond referendum and approved by the voters.
According to school projections, enrollment in the Hayfield-Franconia region, which includes Kingstowne, is expected to balloon from 4,316 this year to 5,021 by 1995-96, which is 392 over the capacity of the nine existing elementary schools. By school standards, that represents a 32-room deficit, about the size of an average school.
Other than the Kingstowne project, this year's capital plan is pretty much a stay-on-course program, including planning or construction of previously proposed schools and renovations of dozens of older ones.
As a planning document, the capital program includes no funding. About $192.7 million of the $695.5 million total cost has been funded already, with the rest likely to come from future bond referendums.
In addition to the capital improvements, officials last week unveiled formal boundary adjustments proposed for nearly 50 schools, the most widespread shifts in years.
Some of the changes are related to the conversion of Glasgow, Holmes and Poe intermediate schools into middle schools. Others are to accommodate the opening of two new schools in 1991-92, an elementary school in Oakton and an intermediate school in Centreville. Still others are to relieve crowding at selected schools.
Parents in some communities have passionately attacked the changes as disruptive and plan to fight them.
The School Board will vote on the capital plan Jan. 24; after a public hearing, it will vote on the boundaries March 7. Raises for Aides
In the last 18 months, the School Board had repeatedly rejected proposals from Superintendent Robert R. Spillane to grant raises to school-based administrators until he merged their salary scale with central office educators. So after he finally developed a proposal to do just that, the board voted 6 to 4 to table it for a month until he presents next year's budget.
Spillane's plan, which would cost $371,000 this year and $891,000 next year, would raise the salary status of selected administrators such as assistant principals to make their pay more competitive.
The smaller of the two teachers unions, the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, opposed the plan, saying administrators have received plenty of raises already. Board of Supervisors Chairman Audrey Moore (D) lobbied School Board members not to approve new spending at a time of dwindling tax revenue.
But when School Board member Joanne T. Field (Dranesville) tried to similarly postpone giving modest raises for teachers' aides, two board members switched their votes and defeated the delay, 6 to 4. The board then voted unanimously to approve the raises for aides, whose starting salary is $11,000 a year.
Board member Letty A. Fleetwood (Providence), who along with Armando M. Rodriguez (Mount Vernon) changed sides, explained that aides need the money more than administrators.
"They're hardly not earning a living wage," she said of administrators. "They're earning a decent salary now." Rodriguez on the Way Out?
Meanwhile, Rodriguez may be quitting sometime soon.
The Mount Vernon representative has put his house on the market. He said he plans to move back to California because of family matters there.
Rodriguez, who was appointed to his second two-year term in June, is the board's first Hispanic member and has aggressively pushed school officials to be more sensitive to the growing Spanish-speaking population. At the same time, some PTA leaders have accused him of not representing his district adequately.
Rodriguez noted that his departure may not be imminent. With a slowing real estate market, his house has received little attention from prospective buyers.