On Nov. 7, 2023, voters will elect the Board of Supervisors, who set real estate taxes, fund 70% of the school budget, and make zoning decisions. They are spending $5 billion this year, of which $2.4 billion is transferred to the school system. One supervisor is elected from each of the county's 9 magisterial districts plus the chairman, who is elected countywide. This is the lowest turnout (45%) election.
Arthur Purves grew up in Washington D.C. and earned a BA, MS, and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania.
He and his late wife, Carol, moved to Vienna in 1976. They have two children, who graduated from Fairfax County Public Schools in the mid-90s. Arthur was his son's lacrosse boosters' president at Marshall High School and was his daughter's crew boosters' president at Thomas Jefferson High School.
Arthur worked as a computer programmer for 40 years and is now retired. He belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
For 26 years he has been president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance. He was treasurer for the Fairfax Committee of 100 for ten years, was a member of the 2014 Fairfax County Meals Tax Task Force, and in 2013 served on the Hunter Mill Citizen Budget Committee. He has also served on three Fairfax County Public Schools advisory committees and is a member of the League of Women Voters and the Fairfax branch of the NAACP. He was a Scoutmaster for his church, including a Latino troop, and was elected to the Order of the Arrow.
As Taxpayers Alliance president, Arthur has testified at most county and school proposed budget hearings and has attended school superintendent and county executive budget press briefings. This was not automatic. The first time he attempted, in January 2000, to attend the school superintendent's budget press briefing he was arrested, made to sit out the briefing in a police station, and charged with trespassing. He had wanted to ask why the superintendent had waited until after the supervisors' election to announce a school budget crisis. The school system did not press charges.
The school advisory committees were Family Life Education (FLE) in 1991 and 2002, the Superintendent's Advisory Committee for Student Success (1993-95), and Professional Technical Studies (1996-2003).
It has never been shown that FLE reduces teen promiscuity or drug use, and FLE does not even have goals to do so. The school board should drop FLE and concentrate on reading, math, and history that is both accurate and patriotic.
While Professional Technical Studies (aka Career and Technical Education) had a commendable goal to teach career preparedness, it was never shown that that goal was being accomplished. Meanwhile Arthur felt that the schools were neglecting the essentials for any job, e.g., mastery of math, reading, vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and writing.
Something good did come of the "Student Success" committee in that the administrator in charge of that committee persuaded then-superintendent, Dr. Spillane, to invite elementary schools to teach E. D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge Sequence. Dr. Hirsch was a University of Virginia English professor and author of Cultural Literacy (1988). Five schools did so from 1997 to about 2002. The school system suspended funding because a study found that Core Knowledge did not adequately prepare students for the Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. This was ironic because Governor George Allen tried to base the SOLs on E. D. Hirsch's curriculum, which teaches geography, American and world history every year from K-8th grade and is phonics-based.
This is Arthur’s 7th general election. He ran for school board (1995, 2003); for county chairman, as an independent when there was no Republican candidate (1999) and as a Republican candidate (2015); delegate (2007) and state senate (2019). In six of the races if Arthur had not run the incumbent would have had a free pass.
Arthur has in all but the first race advocated reversing the Supreme Court decisions removing the Lord's Prayer, Bible, and Ten Commandments from public schools, as he believes these decisions resulted in a deterioration of marriage and family that is the basic cause of gun violence and of higher taxes through increased welfare and public safety spending.
More recently he has served as an election officer, helped refugees with asylum applications, and has researched phonics-based ESL curricula for use with refugees. He also just got a General Class amateur radio license, KQ4AXT. Arthur has eight grandchildren.
Recorded April 2, 2021 (1hr 40min):
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Purves for Chairman
PO Box 1052
Vienna VA 22183
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