Challenges Ahead For Honrable Cause


Worcester County Education Foundation Chair Todd Ferrante shared this week a You Tube video called “Did You Know? Shift Happens.” It provides a wealth of information, most of which is concerning how critical technology and associated enhancements will be in the lives of today’s young people and in particular their future.

For example, one fact included in the video was that, “Researchers predict that 65% of today’s grade schoolers will hold jobs that don’t exist yet.” According to the video, the number of Internet devices in 1984 was 1,000, compared to one million in 1992, one billion in 2008 and 10 billion in 2014. Every five minutes 2,855 new websites are created, 360 hours of new video are uploaded to YouTube, 1.3 million tweets are posted to Twitter and 694,000 songs are downloaded illegally.

The video continues with related stats that confirm modernizing schools with at least acceptable technology means is the key to producing young adults capable of excelling in the “real world.”

This new foundation, a hybrid organization of leading residents and government officials, aims to tackle these issues with an infusion of private sector funds to expedite the digital conversion slowly taking place at Worcester County schools.

While we laud the intentions and efforts of the foundation members, it’s troubling that this work and goal is necessary in the first place. It’s critical because Worcester County is severely underfunded by the state. The burden rests almost entirely on the county government, which cannot without major tax increases meet the full requests of the school system.

The foundation knows all about this reality and understands there’s no use in trying to get the formula altered that the state uses to determine the wealth of a county and subsequently is relied on to configure the per-pupil education allocation from Maryland. The end result of the formula is that Worcester is found to be annually among the richest jurisdictions in the state because of elevated land values based on the water that surrounds the area.

Instead of accepting the reality of this funding inequity, the foundation was formed and its creation should benefit the county in major ways. It’s not unprecedented in the education world, but it is uncommon in largely rural areas. Congratulations to Taylor Bank for the initial $100,000 investment. Surely there will be more sizable donations to come because that’s what this community does time and time again — it rallies for a worthwhile cause and perhaps there is nothing to be celebrated more than attempts to improve and modernize the education system where our most worthwhile and promising are groomed.



General Election Endorsements

Overview The following is a look at our endorsements for a number of local contested elections. These endorsements are intended to give readers a glimpse into why we have decided to support certain candidates. We take this obligation of offering our suggestions seriously at this newspaper, and it’s important to point out these are endorsements based on our independent analysis … Continue reading

Whenever You Do It, Please Choose To Vote

Early voting started yesterday in jurisdictions across the state and will run through Thursday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. In Wicomico County, the polling site is the Civic Center and in Worcester it’s at the Gull Creek Retirement Community in Berlin. It’s our hope the recent trends with early voting – those that confirm it’s not popular among voters … Continue reading

Media Company Leading Wrong Legal Battle

To those who follow the local newspaper industry, it should come as no surprise that Gannett, the Virginia-based corporation that owns The Daily Times and several weekly papers in the area, is suing the Town of Ocean City. The company’s disconnection with the community it allegedly serves has never been more obvious than with this cold and ridiculous legal action. … Continue reading

Better To Focus Efforts On Route 90 Work

While it’s unlikely to matter in the short term, Ocean City officials are wise to pursue Route 90, rather than Route 50, as a priority infrastructure project. At last week’s County Commissioner meeting, the Maryland Department of Transportation reviewed its six-year transportation project budget with Worcester officials. Continuing the dualization phases of Route 113 remains the top priority for the … Continue reading

A New Law That Alienates Not The Answer

Rather than craft a strict ordinance that will infuriate thousands, hurt the real estate market tremendously and probably be impractical to enforce, Ocean City simply needs to determine how best to raise awareness of current laws on rental properties and craft an official policy on how to ensure there is a consistent procedure to document violations. At its most fundamental, … Continue reading