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2003-05-21 Misspelled word in teachers' union sign

"Connecter" vs. "Connector"

"Connecter" vs. "Connector" 
Misspelled word in teachers' union sign

FEA sign Arthur G. Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance (FCTA), today posted on the FCTA website a photograph of a political sign referring to the FAIRFAX CONNECTOR bus system.  In the sign, the word "connector" is misspelled.  The sign was authorized by "Pro-Fairfax", a pro-tax coalition headed by the Fairfax Education Association (FEA).  The FEA is a union representing 6500 Fairfax County Public School teachers and administrators.

Mr. Purves stated, "This sign reinforces the perception that the teachers' union is all about high taxes and not about high academic standards."

Through the Pro-Fairfax coalition, the FEA successfully enlisted the help of the fire fighters' union and parents of mentally challenged children to  lobby the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for a $300-per-household real estate tax hike last month.  However, while the school budget request was fully funded, the public safety cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was reduced and programs for mentally challenged children were reduced.  Meanwhile, between FY2002 and FY2004 the inflation-adjusted school budget is increasing three times faster than enrollment.  Since FY1998 school staff has increased nearly twice as fast as enrollment.

Mr. Purves also holds the teachers' union partially responsible for the Metrorail fare hikes.  To placate the powerful FEA and fully fund the schools' budget request, the supervisors cut Metrorail funding by $4 million when they should have increased it.  Metro has been hard hit by snowstorm costs and by a decline in tourism and is facing a $48 million deficit in FY2004.