Joint Retreat: Welcome and Introductions
A joint retreat of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and Fairfax County School Board was held at the Junior Achievement Finance Park at Frost Middle School, 4099 Pickett Rd. on Saturday, Feb. 25.
You may also review the notes from each topic session and view related presentations by topic.
Districts - Supervisors
Districts - Members
Welcome from Ed Grenier, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Greater Washington
Mr. Grenier: Finance Park is the epitome of a private/public partnership. It became clear in the planning that the private sector needed to play a big role. Capital One gave a significant check to make this happen; the building was built by the private sector, and is leased by the school system. Operations of the facility are funded by the storefront owners. Junior Achievement of Greater Washington hires the staff; four full-time staff are here every day. This has been well received by the community, thanks for everyone’s support. Students use a workbook and take financial literacy curriculum. Over a five-six week period, 21 hours of curriculum is available for every eighth-grader in the county, half in social studies and half in math. Then the students spend one day here in Finance Park.
The curriculum focuses on three primary areas: fundamental financial areas, taxes and budgeting. The budget has the same lines of business we have in our own lives: housing, clothing, vacations, etc.; students have a lesson on each budget line. When students spend a day here in Finance Park, they start the day in the auditorium for an orientation telling them they will be treated as adults and will be expected to put together a balanced budget.
Each student is given a life situation and they are charged with taking the gross income associated with their situation and walk around the storefronts to make decisions on how to spend their money. All 13,000 eighth-graders in the county go through Finance Park. The location is central to the county and is near adult and continuing education programs.
School Board Chairman Strauss noted it is a wonderful example of product-based learning. The School Board is very grateful for what is being done, this program truly works.
Sup. Hyland said it would be a good program for others to know about nationally.
Schools Superintendent Jack Dale noted this is an award-winning program.
Welcome and Introductions
Board of Supervisors Chairman Bulova: This is the first time in anyone’s memory that we’ve had a full day retreat of the two boards. This is a chance to step back, and look at the big picture. It is not to get into the weeds about the budget; there will be an opportunity for the two boards to discuss the budget on March 13 at the first budget committee meeting. The County Executive releases his budget on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. So today we will not have a budget discussion, since the board hasn’t yet seen the proposed budget.
School Board Chairman Strauss: This location sets the tone for our collaborative discussion. This is a partnership with the community and with everyone we serve. We are dedicated to providing the best quality of life for everyone in our community. This retreat gives us an opportunity to plan together to improve areas where we can improve together. We often talk about opportunities and wish we had the time to accomplish more. This facility is a wonderful example of what can be done when all stakeholders are pulled in and there is time to plan. We all have challenges and are all dedicated to doing the very best we can. Today, together, we will plan.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Bulova: We’re not going to decide anything today but we will put a lot on the table to explore further and work toward, as we finish the day we will talk about where we will go from here and what kind of structure we will need to move the ball forward. During the past term we had a smart savings task force composed of three members from each board; this time we want to get engagement from the two full boards.