Fairfax County Schools Look to Private Sector for Help

County hopes non-profit can support school system

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010  |  Updated 6:01 PM EDT
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Fairfax County may turn to the private sector to support its cash-strapped school system.

The county's Chamber of Commerce is planning to create a new non-profit foundation to allow companies to contribute money for schools.

The plan raises some questions about the current Fairfax Education Foundation, which has given about $23 million for school projects since it was formed in 1983. That group has been in a dispute with county school officials.

Last year the foundation raised about $330,000 in donations and gave its sole paid-employee, James Rosebush, $130,000.

Schools Superintendent Jack Dale asked the group to revamp itself in 2008 and provide funding for two programs, but little was done. Dale resigned from its board last year.

Last month, Fairfax County school officials approved a $2.2 billion budget, $35 million less than last year. It involves eliminating 200 positions and will tack on fees for sports and Advanced Placement tests.

However, the school system will get to keep full-day kindergarten, elementary school band lessons and foreign language immersion classes, all of which originally were on the chopping block.

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