Schools, Not Streetcars


With installation of classroom trailers at W-L High School (completed in 2008) realization is slowly dawning on the County Board and School Board that, in fact, 5,000 more students will be attending Arlington's public schools in 2016.

But what are they going to do about it, beyond ordering a couple hundred more classroom trailers? Nothing that I can discern. During FY 11 Arlington County spent $1.5 million for Columbia Pike streetcar planning and $474,000 for Dover, Kohl's Pike in-fill planning and facilitation services. Nothing mentioned about schools, although more schools and brick-and mortar classrooms are Arlington's critical needs right now. Especially if population density along the Pike corridor doubles or triples over the next five years.

Now there is consternation at the School Board offices because it appears that the new Wakefield High School will be short classrooms the day it opens in 2013, something School Board candidate Miriam Gennari predicted last year.

Who's being irrational here? The Greens, Independents, Republicans, and fiscally responsible Democrats who want an end to reckless and irrational spending for the County Board's pet transportation, entertainment, recreation, and sports vanity projects? Or Mr. Zimmerman and the County Board, and their pet political cronies, special interests, REITs, and developers?

No Contest. Enough is Enough. Our kids' needs come first. Scrap Chris Zimmerman's plans for a wasteful and unnecessary $160 million streetcar system and build real schools and classrooms for our children instead.