November 2, 2013
As parents involved on education issues in our McLean community, we ask you to join us in voting to re-elect our Delegate, Barbara Comstock (R-Dist. 34).
As strong advocates for our schools, we have worked with Barbara on
numerous education issues. She has been a strong partner and advocate
for our children and is a long-time supporter of educational excellence.
She has attended our meetings, fought side by side with us for our
schools, and been a tireless worker for our children. Her opponent,
Kathleen Murphy, has no record of working with or advocating for our
schools and has, unfortunately, run a very negative campaign attacking
Barbara. We would like to set the record straight on Barbara's strong
advocacy for our children.
First, Barbara comes from a family of educators.
She and her husband, Chip, moved to McLean in 1981 when Chip was hired
as a math teacher at Langley High School (HS). After teaching at McLean
HS and Falls Church HS, Chip became an assistant principal at Oakton
HS. Barbara's sister, Cynthia Coogan, is a guidance counselor at
Madison HS and previously served at McLean HS. Barbara's mother was a
lifelong educator who served as a teacher, a librarian and a school
Second, Barbara has continually listened and diligently worked with us on reversing budget cuts to our schools. When
Barbara was first elected in 2009, the first issue she faced was an
unfair change in the state funding formula for schools, which would have
cost Northern Virginia schools over $120 million and Fairfax County
schools over $60 million. Barbara lobbied her colleagues and the
Governor to reverse this injustice. She participated in a demonstration
at Churchill Road Elementary School and rallied the business community
and others. Reversing these cuts without tax increases was a great
victory for our community. Since then, Barbara has continued to fight
for more funding for our local schools through "cost to compete" funds,
which account for the higher cost of living in Fairfax County.
is an effective advocate for our local schools because she understands
that the state's basic education funding formula penalizes Northern
Virginia schools. She focuses on finding ways to mitigate this punitive
formula, such as through cost to compete funds. A less focused
approach, like that advocated by her opponent, would require Fairfax
residents to pay $4 in extra state taxes for every additional $1 in
state funding, and we urge you to read the attached pdf file that
provides more details.
Third, On the Issues:
Barbara was one of the first local leaders to put her weight behind
education initiatives dealing with inequities in our area. Barbara
introduced a bill that led the School Board to vote in 2011 to finally
keep its promise to bring Full-Day Kindergarten to the schools in
Barbara's district. Now, Barbara is working with local parents to
address class size inequities.
sizes in our area are among the largest in the county; one of our
children had 35-plus students for three years in a row at Spring Hill
Elementary School. Barbara agreed this was unacceptable and took
action. She met with local parents, arranged a public meeting with the
president of the state Board of Education, obtained clarification about
current state law standards and spoke to the new FCPS Superintendent,
Dr. Garza. Barbara's position within the community has put this
important issue on the radar screen of local officials, and we are glad
that our community is working together in a bipartisan manner to
alleviate excessive class sizes in our schools.
Barbara understands that teachers are the front line in our schools and
need to be fairly compensated. Last spring, she contacted one of us to
ask if FCPS intended to use state incentive funds to give teachers a 2%
raise during the 2013-14 school year. Upon hearing that the former
FCPS superintendent was providing inaccurate information about the local
tax dollars needed to use the state matching funds, Barbara provided
accurate data, which was combined with information from teachers
associations and presented to Fairfax County School Board members. As
education advocates who believe strongly in the importance of hiring and
retaining good classroom teachers, we appreciated Barbara's proactive
and pragmatic approach.
Barbara has led the bipartisan effort to repeal the King's Dominion Law
so that FCPS - like most other Virginia school districts - can start
the school year before Labor Day. Current state law disadvantages FCPS
students by reducing the time they have to prepare for Advanced
Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, and our school system
has sought repeal of the King's Dominion Law for years.
More In-State College Spots. Barbara
has been a leader in the General Assembly in getting more in-state
college spots for our children. She introduced legislation to increase
the percentage of in-state students at our public colleges and worked
with her colleagues to obtain funding for 1700 in-state college spots.
In-state, university admissions is one of Barbara's top priorities.
Finally, Barbara understands our children need a strong 21st century job market and she has been a leader in making Virginia #1 for jobs.
She spearheaded bills that brought hundreds of millions of dollars of
investment to our area. Her competitive bidding legislation is
estimated to have saved taxpayers $400 million on Phase 2 of the Dulles
Rail project. Her extensive efforts to create jobs not only benefit
current adults, but also will provide our children with local job
opportunities when they enter the workforce in the future.
strong jobs record has earned her the support of every jobs-focused
group in the Commonwealth - the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Fairfax
Chamber of Commerce, Northern Virginia Technology Council's TechPAC,
Farm Bureau, Credit Unions, and National Federation of Independent
Businesses. She also earned the Virginia Police Benevolent
Association's endorsement for her strong public safety record.
Comstock is the real deal when it comes to our area schools. She knows
children don't come with party labels and she approaches issues in that
manner. The quality of our children's education - and ensuring that
they have access to good jobs when they graduate - is her primary
education advocates and parents who care deeply about our schools and
our community, we ask that you join us in voting for Delegate Barbara
Comstock on November 5.
Jennifer & Marc Cadin
Linda Menghetti Dempsey
Catherine & Bruce Haynes
Kathleen & Steve Mullery
Jan & John Pascoe