Port City Notebook

News, views and random observations around Alexandria

Budget Update and Other News You Can Use

The Alexandria city manager’s budget recommends spending roughly $3 million less for both the operating and capital improvement program budgets than ACPS requested. And the option of raising property taxes next year has been taken off of the table irrevocably. That means the city council is faced with an unenviable task: cut from other areas of the city budget to close the schools gap, or leave the schools with less than they need to accommodate 500 new students in September.

home_news_postitAs Port City residents and not just parents, we don’t like this choice any more than our elected officials. Assuming that we are not willing to lower our expectations across the board about the quality of our city services and facilities, including our schools, then we need to get to work to figure out how to attract—not discourage—economic development and to grow our commercial tax base to generate the income that our city needs.

But that won’t solve the current dilemma. The city council will meet on Tuesday, April 28, for a preliminary discussion about budget adds and deletes. They will meet again on Monday, May 4, to finalize adds and deletes, and they will adopt the FY 2016-2017 budget on Thursday, May 7. This week is your last chance to express your views. Contact city council members using the online “Call-Click-Connect” system.


This Week! Spring2ACTion!

On Wednesday, April 22, Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics (along with many PTAs around town, including the T.C. Williams PTSA) will be participating in the city-wide “Spring2ACTion” day of charitable giving, an ACT for Alexandria initiative, with a goal of raising $4,000. The Simpson Development Company has generously offered AAA a dollar-for-dollar matching grant up to $2,000 for funds that we raise on that day. If you support a new 50-meter pool at Chinquapin, improvements to our existing public pools and swim instruction for all Alexandria schoolchildren, then this is the perfect time to lend your financial support…and have your donation doubled!

There are three ways that you can help AAA on April 22:

1. DONATE at the AAA Spring2Action site. Donations may be scheduled anytime between now and April 22 and your credit card will not be charged until April 22.

2. SHOP at any of the more than 30 Causetown local businesses on April 22 and up to 20% of your purchase can be designated for AAA. (Mention AAA at check-out).  Stores include Reunions, Red Barn Mercantile, Pacers, Fibre Space, Robcyns and Hooray for Books. A full list of stores can be found here.

3. EAT at Holy Cow, Pork Barrel BBQ and Sweet Fire Donna’s and 25 cents from each meal purchased will be donated to the charity of the customer’s choice. Plus, take your printed receipt from your contribution to AAA (or any of the participating nonprofits) to Sugar Shack (804 N. Henry St. near the Braddock Road metro station) to get a free donut!

Thank you in advance for supporting AAA!

Attention Parents of Rising Seniors

The essay topics for the 2015-2016 Common Application for colleges and universities are now available here.


Washington Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and Concert Orchestra Auditions Announced

Auditions for WMYO (grades 8 to 12) and WMCO (grades 6 to 9) will be held on Saturday, May 16, and Monday, May 18. More info here. Or contact me (parent of a WMYO member) at portcitynotebook@gmail.com if you have additional questions.


Coming Soon from ACPS

  • The next principal of T.C. Williams High School is expected to be announced in early May, according to Dr. Crawley.
  • The ACPS technology department is about to unveil the first version of “Data Dashboards” on the ACPS website. The PTA Council got a sneak preview on Friday, and it was well-received. The dashboards will include school-by-school information about enrollment, demographics, test scores and more.



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