The Governor's Commission on Educational Opportunity for All Virginia has approved recommendations that amount to a Robin Hood formula: Take $64.9 million from Fairfax County and give to smaller counties {news story, Nov. 10}. That we in Fairfax are willing to tax ourselves to pay for better schools is taken as an open invitation to shift our state sales tax dollars downstate -- just as our fuel tax dollars have been funneled downstate for decades.

We in Fairfax cannot continue to pay for "business as usual" politics downstate. Earlier this year I sent a survey to 60 downstate counties requesting information on real estate taxes assessed and collected over the past three years. Let's take a look at some of our downstate brethren. Bland County, with a population of 6,500, has the full panoply of county officials including a clerk of court, treasurer, sheriff, commissioner of revenue, superintendent of public welfare etc., all on a tax base of $707,880 (of which $88,000 was not collected in 1989).

King and Queen County, with a population of fewer than 6,500, also has a clerk of court, treasurer, sheriff, commissioner of revenue, superintendent of public welfare and county administrator, all on a tax base of $1,637,502 (of which $262,317 remained uncollected as of Feb. 1).

Cumberland County, with a population of fewer than 8,000, has a clerk of court, treasurer, commissioner of revenue, sheriff and superintendent of public welfare, all on a tax base of $546,628 (of which $64,396 remained uncollected as of Jan. 31).

These are not isolated examples but are typical of a much-needed reform in our state government. Rural counties should be reformed to prevent duplication of government and to achieve economies of scale. Of course, rural counties have difficulty footing the bill for schools; the tax base does not exist for both schools and a duplication of government, especially on a tax rate of 31 cents per $100 value (ours is $1.11 per $100). The obvious answer is to do away with government duplication and require consolidation of rural counties.

Downstate's answer is to raid the coffers of Northern Virginia yet again. But that is simply a quick fix at our expense and only guarantees the continued existence of inefficient county governments. Can anyone seriously defend the continued existence of county governments serving populations of fewer than 10,000? At least 25 of our counties are in such a category, and 59 serve populations of fewer than 25,000.

Many of Virginia's rural counties deserve our help, but we are fully justified in requiring a consolidation of such county governments as the price for that support. GARY A. REESE Herndon