Prince William County Supervisor Pete Candland, R-Gainesville, is pitching an ambitious new plan to help the county’s school division tackle the twin issues of overcrowded classrooms and the widespread use of school trailers.Candland, long one of the board’s more fiscally conservative members, unveiled a 10-year, $170 million proposal to fund the construction of new schools and classrooms on Tuesday night, as supervisors got their first look at the school division’s fiscal 2019 budget.He’s envisioning the board setting aside a “school capital fund,” supported by a new tax on county residents, in order to end the persistent debate among Prince William leaders about the best way to improve conditions for students.

Candland’s proposed tax increase wouldn’t kick in until fiscal 2020 and would sunset after the 10-year period is up, but he wants to see supervisors take a vote on the issue this year so staffers can start hashing out the nuts and bolts of exactly how this plan would work…

Candland’s proposal represents a significant new development in the class size and school trailer debate, which has dominated discussions among county politicians for years. Acting School Board Chair Lillie Jessie of the Occoquan District even pointed out in her presentation of her board’s proposed $1.2 billion budget that the fiscal 2019 spending plan does little to address the school division’s 207 trailers or its large class sizes in middle and high schools.

“Other school divisions are moving on,” Jessie said. “We’re doing the best we can with what we have.”

Supervisor Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge, pushed an even larger set of tax increases to fund new school construction last year, but that measure died a quick death. Supervisors opted instead to give a special committee focused on school infrastructure time (made up of both school board members and supervisors) to study the issue in more detail…

Source: Candland proposes new tax to tackle school overcrowding | Prince William | insidenova.com

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