- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 1, 2004

Fairfax County schools Superintendent Jack D. Dale and the county Board of Supervisors formally will meet for the first time today, and the schools’ $1.8 billion budget will likely be a topic of discussion.

Board Chairman Gerald E. Connolly said yesterday supervisors might ask Mr. Dale about funding for teachers and students, building new schools and expanding the county’s 235 schools.

Some supervisors said before moving forward, Mr. Dale must understand that schools in Virginia are financed differently from those in Maryland. Mr. Dale, 55, was the schools superintendent in Frederick County for the past eight years.

The state of Maryland pays 50 percent of operating and construction costs of all schools, Mr. Connolly said. Virginia funds 22 percent of Fairfax County schools’ operating costs, but not construction costs, he said.

“I think he must grasp that,” Mr. Connolly said.

Mr. Dale could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Fairfax County is the 12th-largest in the country, with 166,275 students and a staff of 21,520. Frederick County has 58 traditional and specialized schools, with about 40,000 students, a staff of 4,500 and an estimated $300 million operating budget.

Daniel A. Domenech, the former Fairfax County superintendent who retired in March, frequently clashed with the county Board of Supervisors, which allocates funds to the school system but cannot decree how the money is spent.

Mr. Dale, who began his job in Fairfax on July 1, has been advising educators, corporate executives and community leaders to bring up issues for discussion.

Supervisor Sharon Bulova, Braddock District Democrat and the board’s vice chairman, said she was pleased with Mr. Dale when she recently spoke with him about a meeting on a carry-over budget from the 2003-04 fiscal year. The budget requires teamwork between the Board of Supervisors and county School Board, she said.

“He was extremely cooperative,” Mrs. Bulova said.

Under the four-year contract, Mr. Dale will earn $237,000 a year. Mr. Dale earned $157,000 a year in Frederick County.

Mr. Dale has more than 30 years of experience in professional education, including experience as a superintendent, assistant superintendent, director of personnel and director of instructional services.

Under his direction, Frederick County achieved the lowest dropout rate in Maryland, and its high-school students significantly increased their participation in advanced-placement courses.

Mr. Dale has been credited with securing funding for a $24 million technology-improvement plan, guiding the school system from limited use of technology to extensive use in classrooms and offices.

Mr. Dale, who was named Maryland Superintendent of the Year in 2000, also implemented all-day kindergarten and a five-year master plan budget.

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