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Welcome to the Website of the Fairfax Education Coalition

Faye Wagoner is Chair of the Fairfax Education Coalition, a volunteer network of parents, teachers, and community members dedicated to strengthening public involvement with Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

The coalition advocates for improved accountability, transparency, and community participation in the FCPS decision making process.

Accountability of FCPS: FEC advocacy contributed to the following improvements in FCPS accountability:

  • Reconfiguration of the Audit Committee membership and procedures to
    • Add two community appointees with financial expertise
    • Increase the number of School Board members from two to four
    • Reduce the number of FCPS staff participants
    • Reduce FCPS manager voting rights on the committee
  • Creation of an Auditor General position
  • Increased number of performance audits
  • Changes in the Office of Program Evaluation

FCPS Operations: Efforts of FEC members and their advocacy groups contributed to the following improvements:

  • Defeat of proposal to build a new headquarters for FCPS attempt to prevent increases in central department positions and costs
  • Changes to FCPS grading scales and course weighting policies to better align with national norms
  • Reform of FCPS school disciplinary policies to end zero tolerance policies for selected infractions
  • Restoration of high school student access to five high school “honors” courses, to offer three levels of challenge (Advanced Placement, honors, and standard level)
  • Increased oversight of TJ admissions office policies to reduce the number of TJ students who struggled with math and science courses
  • Later high school start times, to allow students to sleep later weekday mornings
  • Implementation of full day Mondays for elementary school students
  • Improvements in cafeteria food, with fewer chemical additives, more salad bars and more fresh ingredients
  • Installation of bike racks and FCPS practices to increase student use of bikes to get to and from school
  • Purchase of more computer hardware and software
  • Adoption of FCPS Regulation 1302.1, to cap elementary school class sizes at 28 (Kindergarten) and 29 (grades 1-6)
  • Enactment of a new Virginia Standard of Quality, which requires disclosure of average class sizes at each middle and high school

Transparency of FCPS — FEC advocacy contributed in part to increased transparency through:

  • Video recordings of school board work sessions
  • Public meetings of the Audit Committee
  • Disclosure of data on costs associated with the Food & Nutrition Services Office
  • Disclosure of data that influences class sizes in different schools, including:

o    comparisons of student enrollment projections to actual enrollment at each school

o    principal “trades” of classroom teacher positions for other types of positions or resources

o    allocation of teacher and aide positions from the countywide staffing reserve

  • More hyperlinks and cross-references in budget documents
  • Increased community understanding of FOIA

Public engagement — Advocated for FCPS Leadership Team and other staff to meet and otherwise improve communications with all stakeholders, including parents, teachers, students and other community members. That advocacy led to years of meetings with representatives of FEC’s member groups, which sometimes resulted in full or partial realization of their goals.

Accountability – Transparency – Community Engagement