F.C. Should Continue Its Role With T.J. High School
I am a mother of young children, and our family moved to the City of Falls Church two years ago because of the outstanding reputation of the school district. I am also a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology and other parents often ask me if I would send my own children there if given the opportunity. I often demur on the answer but in the back of my mind I took for granted that my children would have the opportunity, even as a City resident, if they have the inclination and the aptitude. It is therefore with great concern that I read a recent article in The Washington Post, (“TJ renovation cost raises questions from surrounding school systems asked to chip in”) in which area school boards may consider withdrawing their students from the top high school in the country because they have been asked to contribute to capital improvements, proportionate to the number of students they send to the school. The Washington Post indicates that the City would be asked to contribute $349,000 for the seven students that currently attend the elite school. The total estimate for the renovations is $90 million dollars.
I strongly urge Dr. Jones and the school board to continue participating in the Thomas Jefferson program. Please do not close off this opportunity for some of the City’s brightest and most talented science and math students. Don’t get me wrong – I think our own George Mason High School has an excellent program which has been validated by the high rankings it earns year after year. But the City would be doing a great disservice to our students if it decides to withdraw from the Thomas Jefferson program. Let the students decide if they have the inclination and ability to attend. Allow the students to thrive in an environment that challenges them, if it is the right fit for them. But allow that to be their choice; don’t take the choice away from them.