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


Letter To The Editor

Commissioners need to reconsider


(The following was sent as an open letter to Worcester County Commissioners.)

As a Worcester County Public School graduate who now is a parent of two children in Worcester County Schools, I am very invested in the future of our school district. I wish some of our County Commissioners could say the same.

I wanted to raise my family where the schools are consistently ranked highly in the state when it comes to testing, outcomes, and service. Until now, I’ve felt that would be my children’s school career. But the growing salary gap between Worcester teachers and teachers in neighboring counties is taking a toll. For the past year, teachers have been talking about having to leave the County. Last week, a Dispatch article disclosed that some have already begun to do so. With the lowest salaries in the state, it’s unlikely Worcester will be able to attract top quality replacements.

The saddest part of this is that it isn’t necessary. For the past year, the Commission has told the school board, “We won’t fund you because you didn’t give us enough detail in your budget.” So the board complied. Then the Commissioners said, “We don’t like what you’re spending money on.” So the board explained their reasons. Then, the Commissioners raised everyone’s hopes by saying the teachers would get their requested raise. A week later, thy dashed those hopes. They said, “Teachers shouldn’t get more than the county employees.”

That would be fine if teachers had been getting as much as the county employees over the past few years. But they haven’t.

Then the Commissioners said there is a budget deficit for next year. But there has been a surplus for the past two years.

So come on, Commissioners, just be transparent, like you asked of the school board. Your public and social media comments have made it clear that you don’t trust, don’t respect, don’t care about education professionals, parents, and students. You’re looking for excuse after excuse not to give the school board the budget they requested. The only good thing about this is that you’ve made our community start paying attention to what happens in Snow Hill. We’re watching— closely — and we’re not happy.

I want my children to grow up feeling supported, encouraged, and in a safe environment for the duration of their education and I ask our elected officials to work WITH our Board of Education, NOT AGAINST them. It’s a no-brainer for the future of our children and the county’s economic health.

K. Grant