Where's the Proof?

As a client of the Prince William Community Services Board (CSB), I feel compelled to answer Executive Director Tom Geib's spin control.

Mr. Geib states the CSB includes four consumers and family members, a membership that exceeds the statutory requirement. But he offers no proof. Finally, he states, "It is important to note that the current consumer membership of the CSB predated the statutory requirement, a further indicator of the Board of County Supervisors' commitment to the Community Services Board and the citizens of Prince William County."

As a community activist in this county for over three years, this is not the first time I've been accused of not knowing what I was talking about.

I ask Mr. Geib: If confidentiality regulations did not require that existing board members disclose that they are or have been consumers of the CSB system, then how do we, as clients of the system, know if the statute is being enforced? Are we to take your word for it? The county's word? The state's word?

A few Virginia CSB executive directors are more forthcoming than you, Mr. Geib. Central Virginia CSB Executive Director Gus Fagan wrote me, "We have not had an active consumer appointed as yet, but we are working on it."

I hope you can come up with better material, Mr. Geib, in responding to clients' concerns regarding the statute. You should not be so protective of the Board of County Supervisors; they really have nothing to do with this.

MICHAEL RAGLAND

Triangle

Right Move on Charter Schools

The Prince William County School Board's decision not to allow charter schools to operate in Prince William County was the right decision.

Charter schools are experimental ways of educating. Why subject children to unproven educational systems?

It may be true that some charter schools have demonstrated how to improve education, but we don't know this for a fact. Without having adequate information about a large number of charter schools, it would be foolish to allow a charter school to operate here.

If we did learn of a school developing a superior system, rather than allowing it to be started here in a charter, it would be better to incorporate the system into our public schools. The ultimate goal of charters is to improve public education.

But whom do we have in the county keeping up with what is being done elsewhere? The School Board? County supervisors? The county executive?

My guess is that no one is really keeping up with all the educational issues, or we would be hearing more about them. We deserve more from our county officials, especially the School Board.

GENE PRINGLE

Manassas

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