Close Menu
Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Letter to the Editor

Bare minimum does not work in schools


I am a teacher at Stephen Decatur Middle School. I currently live in Berlin, but I am not originally from this area. I moved here after college to live and teach in Worcester County because of the school system’s prestigious reputation. Being new to the area, I did not know much about it, but I knew one thing – Worcester County was one of the best school systems on the Eastern Shore, if not all of Maryland. If I was going to move away from home, it was going to be to Worcester County.

For many years, I knew I made the right choice. I met people over the years who had also made the move from “across the bridge” as I had because of the county’s reputation. Who wouldn’t want to live at the beach and also receive a top-notch education? There is a reason Worcester is so desirable: smaller class sizes, updated curriculum, one-to-one technology, new and updated facilities, teachers who are excited and proud to come to work each day, and most importantly, successful students.

However, a budget funded at maintenance-of-effort diminishes all of that. Class sizes become larger as staff positions are cut to adjust to the cost of living. Curriculum resources and technology become outdated because new ones cannot be purchased. Facilities fall to the wayside. Teachers are forced to work second or even third jobs on nights and weekends to support their families, meaning that their time and energy are divided, and students are not receiving the best education possible. Lastly, students are not as successful and fall behind their peers because programs such as after-school and summer academies are cut. These programs are invaluable to our students but were some of the first on the chopping block this past year.

Maintenance-of-effort is the bare minimum. Our students deserve more. Our teachers deserve more. Our community deserves more. The only way to keep Worcester at the top is to keep raising the standard.

I support my students. I support my fellow teachers. I support my community. I support a fully-funded WCPS budget. Do you?

Meg Lawrence