Letter to the Editor: Wilson tackles schools challenges

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Justin Wilson on the dais during FY2018 budget add/deletes (File photo)
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To the editor:

As Alexandria parents whose child attended Alexandria City Public Schools and who now watch a new generation of neighborhood children attend those same schools, education is an issue that matters a lot to us. We need a solutions-oriented mayor who will always put our students first so that we have an educated community. For this reason, we are voting for Vice Mayor Justin Wilson for mayor – and we want to tell you why.

Over the last decade, families have flocked to Alexandria for our excellent public schools. In the past few years, several new families with children have moved into our neighborhood. Overall, our city has added more than 5,000 students, placing us among the top five fastest growing school districts in the Commonwealth. On education, the contrast between Wilson and incumbent Mayor Allison Silberberg is crystal-clear.

Wilson has opted time and time again to tackle student enrollment challenges head-on. Silberberg has simply voted no on every proposal to confront the issue – and has not offered up any solutions of her own. Wilson built the support necessary to fund the expansion and renovation of Cora Kelly, George Mason and MacArthur elementary schools. Regrettably, the incumbent was the lone vote against this funding.

As school shootings continue to devastate communities nationwide, Silberberg proposed spending taxpayer dollars to study the feasibility of putting armed resource officers in Alexandria’s elementary schools. Since making this alarming request to explore something studies have shown does nothing to prevent school shootings; she has waffled on the issue. Instead of entertaining more weapons in our schools, Wilson has prioritized efforts to get illegal guns off our streets.

As an ACPS dad, he knows more guns in our schools is a false solution and one that could put Alexandria kids in harm’s way if the guns fell into the wrong hands. Silberberg seems to believe that one officer with a handgun could take down a person with an AR-15.

Wilson listens to residents, finds common ground and delivers real solutions that benefit Alexandria children and families. His track record on education speaks volumes. That’s why Wilson has our vote for mayor on June 12.

-Gail Gordon Donegan and Brian Donegan, Alexandria

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