Inadequate investment in our schools costs Prince William in ways that we will feel for decades to come, impacting student learning and safety, burdening educators and impeding economic opportunity.
In a state cited as under-investing in education and other key services (Commonwealth Institute 2016) overall, Prince William still manages to lag behind its neighbors. At $11,222, our per pupil is lower than all surrounding districts, and, hovering at just under 30 students per class, our average middle school class size far exceeds the county’s strategic plan goal of 21 students per class. Since 2014, student enrollment has increased by almost 5,000 students. School funding simply has not kept pace, and nor are we taking the necessary steps to meet the continued demand.
Prince William has high schools with 2,500 students; 25 percent over original design capacity. There are 207 trailers currently in use at County schools. Despite millions of dollars in classroom additions, renovations and new construction over the last 10 years, the number of classroom trailers was only reduced by 28. (See Supervisor Principi’s recommendation for eliminating classroom trailers.)
We encourage all area residents to learn about this issue and to join the dialogue about investing in the future of our community by properly investing in our education system. Attend town halls, speak at Citizen’s Time, contact Supervisors and School Board members, and become part of the momentum that finally brings our community together to solve the problem of classroom overcrowding.