The Fiscal Year 2018 draft budget (which begins on July 1, 2017) was introduced today.  For the first time in years, Fairfax County’s proposed budget does NOT include our graduates with intellectual disabilities, nor does it add in the graduates with developmental disabilities who are newly under the umbrella of the Community Services Board.  You can see the County Executive’s presentation from today, which highlights the fact that this stated priority of the county isn’t budgeted, here.

CAN THIS BE CHANGED?

YES!  We need folks to join us now to encourage the Board of Supervisors in Fairfax to put the graduates into the budget.  See the “WHAT TO DO?” section below for more details.

 

WHO IS IMPACTED?

Anyone leaving Fairfax County Public Schools in 2017 will feel the impact of this decision as soon as they graduate.  Grads who don’t have a Waiver and need ongoing job/daytime help with be without supports or funding.  For many, this will mean parents quitting jobs and our grads wasting away on the couch.
If this happens this year, we have grave concerns that the grads will not be funded in the future, either.  The potential ripple effects are huge.  We also need people who have funding from the County to speak to the value of that funding!

WHAT TO DO?Sheridan Marisili speaks at a hearing in 2012

Speak up!  We need speakers who are impacted by this (e.g., this year’s graduates and their families, graduates in future years and their families) to join us immediately.
1. Find out who your local Supervisor is using this link.
2. Contact Lucy at The Arc of Northern Virginia to talk about getting involved.  We need speakers at each of these town halls in February and March.  They’re starting next week, so pleas act quickly.
Lucy will help you plan, write, and edit your remarks for the local town halls.  Lucy or someone from The Arc of Northern Virginia will attend these town halls as much as possible.
3. Mark April 5th on your calendar now.  That is the day we will be having speakers present at the county-wide budget hearing.  The hearing will start at 1 PM and go until every registered speaker has had a chance to talk.  Lucy will be coordinating our speakers.  Email her (lucy.beadnell@thearcofnova.org) ASAP if you’d like to speak OR attend to show support.  Lucy is happy to help you plan, write, and edit your speech.  She will be there on the day of the event to assist.  A big group here is important!
4. Everyone should be contacting the Supervisor who represents them now to say how concerned you are and what this will mean for our families, students, county, and community.  Share photos and personal stories.  Let them know that they will see you at Town Halls and the Budget Hearing, too.  Lucy is happy to help with this.
5. Share this blog post widely!

RECAP

Fairfax’s planned budget doesn’t fund post-high school funding for FCPS grads with ID or DD.  It is time to show the Board of Supervisors why they want to find funding for these students. Contact Lucy about writing your Supervisor, attending a local town hall, and speaking at a county-wide hearing.  Act quickly!

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