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I saw a recent piece on the Opinion Page of the Nov. 23-25 issue of The Fairfax Times with a headline of “How much should be taken from the people?” written by Larry Neal. His question was apprapo given government’s penchant for raising taxes in times of a bad economy when just the opposite is usually the correct thing to do.

Several months ago, I wrote to you about the perennial problem of funds for student education in Fairfax County, which was not published. That’s fine, but I do think the tax paying public deserve to be kept knowledgeable of issues which wrongly cause those taxes to be raised.

Mr. Neal blamed shortage of funds on the “border wars,” obliquely referring, I think, to immigration problems. He offered one solution which while it is a good thought, will never happen. He wrote “Statesmanship on the part of all parties will be required to put an end to the ugly and damaging border wars…”

Statesmanship may help, but common sense is more important. Honesty in those governing is the basic need. I want to briefly comment on two things which relate to the shortage of funds for education.

First, when Virginia approved the operation of a state lottery, the income was to be used for educational purposes. Then within two years, our beloved legislators changed the rules and took that money for their own purposes. Education became a victim of dishonesty.

Then in the year 2000, the legislators mandated that all counties in Virginia should provide all manner of social services and education for illegal immigrants. Common sense would have informed legislators that those services cost many dollars. The result was that from the year 2000 to 2010, Fairfax County spent over $2 billion for immigrant services and their education. That is over $2 billion of tax payers money. These dollar figures are from a study made by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, based in the District of Columbia.

Just last week our Board of Supervisors announced they were a little short of money for education. I wonder why.

Elmer Savilla

Burke