Greg Anderson, candidate for School Board 2017

Editorial Board

Greg Anderson headshot
Greg Anderson

Greg Anderson

We asked Greg Anderson to prioritize two top issues he would address as a school board member, as well as provide information regarding his background in education.  

New and/or improved high school

We need a new high school because our current school has insufficient capacity and critical systems at risk of failure and is ill-suited to 21st century learning. I will vote yes on the bond referendum, because it will allow us to replace our high school with a new or improved school, but doesn’t limit us to a single option at this point. Rather, passing the referendum would enable detailed school design and land-use and development planning that would drive the final choice of new construction or renovation. I personally favor a new high school because it would have a useful life of at least 50 years, the necessary capacity in all school elements to support anticipated enrollment, increased energy efficiency and reduced maintenance costs, and a learning environment that meets 21st century educational standards.

 

School operational budget

Rising operations costs are a key challenge for our schools. The FCCPS current fiscal year budget is just over $50 million, of which $41 million comes from the City. City staff project that revenues will grow at about 2.5% per year, but FCCPS estimates the school operational budget will grow at around 4% per year. We need to address this gap, both by increasing City revenue and by limiting expense growth, to ensure our excellent schools are sustainable. We can increase revenue through a combination of new mixed-use development, special tax districts for such development, and other sources. We could limit growth in FCCPS costs by a combination of increased efficiency based on an external review of FCCPS operations; a potential pause in salary increases coupled with retention incentives like a streamlined professional development plan for teachers and staff, job sharing or other flexibilities, and so on; and judicious partnerships with the private sector to offset costs while providing education and training opportunities for our students. No single answer will solve the whole problem, but with the right mix, I think we can fix the gap and keep our schools sustainable for the long haul.

 

Experience in Education

I was a college instructor at UC San Diego for two quarters, when I taught Earth science to as many as 230 students. Since moving to Falls Church in 2009, I’ve been a volunteer in our schools, including coaching a Science Olympiad team in 2014; visiting classes at TJ, MEH, and GMHS as a guest speaker on science; participating in the most recent MEH career fair; and helping with Field Day and Outdoor Classroom. A few years ago, I got involved with a group of parents who were concerned with the use of technology in our schools. We organized meetings with the School Board, FCCPS administration, and teachers to express our concerns and seek answers. That led to me spending two years as a parent liaison to the MEH Digital Learning Team, relaying parent feedback and giving advice to teachers and administrators on a variety of technology issues.