School Board Defers Day Care Vote
Task Force to Study Community Need
POSTED: 3:28 p.m. EDT, July 25, 2007
By: FCCPS Communications
Dozens of community members expressed concerns about proposed changes in the Falls Church City Public Schools day care policy during last night's school board meeting. As a result, the board voted to defer making any changes to the current policy until a task force can conduct more in-depth research to study the day care needs of the Falls Church community.
“The first rule should be to do no harm and to preserve the program for those who currently need and enjoy the program,” said school board member Kieran Sharpe who made the motion to table the issue for now. “Once we understand it more clearly, maybe we'll find our way to a meeting of the minds on the issue.”
At issue was a proposed change in the eligibility requirements for the school division’s elementary day care program to mirror the less-stringent requirements of the middle school day care program. The elementary program, which was established in 1975 under its own state law, is available to Falls Church City children or non-resident children who are enrolled in public or private school in the city whose parents are working, in school, in training or infirm.
The school board was considering a change that would eliminate the parental conditions.
“I believe we would abandon our responsibility to the community by rushing to judgment,” school board member Joan Wodiska said. “We have no idea of the unchecked costs that we are about to assume, the impact on available space, the impact on staffing needs and the potential impact on the overall quality of the program, and I think it implores us to better study the program.”
The school board will appoint the task force members and establish the parameters for the research during the board’s August 28th work session at 6:30 p.m. in the Chambers at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.
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