VA-DC FLL in Northern Virginia,
We were just informed this afternoon that the school hosting Reston 1 and 2 this year would not count us as a "sponsored activity."
In recent years Fairfax County Schools (and a few others) have decided to charge rental fees, custodial fees, and other expenses to organizations using their facilities as a cost saving measure. They have waived or significantly reduced those fees for
programs they identified as serving their children/community or those "sponsored" by the school or PTO.
I'm not sure why they decided to change our status to "non-sponsored" but it means the facility costs associated with running the tournament will jump from a few hundred dollars to around $2,000. We operate the organization on a very thin margin and try
to find sponsors to prevent raising tournament fees whenever possible. However the late notice and dramatic anticipated increase in costs mean that we don't have an opportunity to find a sponsor before registration opens or the ability to redress the issue
with Fairfax County Schools. The bottom line is that we have to charge more for the Reston tournaments.
You'll see a special note reflecting that when you register for tournaments and on the tournaments page of our website – the cost will be $150 per team. I am meeting with the Assistant Superintendent on October 27th to discuss this matter and hope to
be able to reduce the cost to the normal $75 fee. We'll let you know more as things develop.
In the mean time, if you have any contacts with Fairfax County Schools, I would sincerely appreciate you all contacting administrators AND School Board members to let them know that the FIRST LEGO League is an important program that supports the children
and communities of Fairfax County and that we should be sponsored by the division.
Thanks in advance for your understanding and support!