Revent events bring renewed focus on the importance of finding a way to fund the Bennett Middle School replacement project. The Board of Education is encouraged by the willingness of our County Council members to meet Friday with members of the School Building Commission, the county executive and members of his staff to revisit the decision about the future of the Bennett Middle School project. We were pleased that many interested community members were also present. The purpose of this meeting was to share updated information about increased funding from the state and to consider options for the project.
The Board of Education requested this meeting because the time for a decision on this project is less than one month away. As noted at the meeting, we now have unprecedented state funding support for this project. The state funding cost share formula is at 96 percent, the highest-ever in our county and in Maryland. As a result of this and other redesigning factors, the project cost is now reduced by $8 million and could be lower should a second option be chosen.
Wicomico County will suffer a severe setback to our educational system should this project fail to move forward. We have every reason to believe that our present funding position at the state level would be quickly filled by another county if we choose to delay this project another year. Losing our “place in line” will result in the delay of the Bennett Middle project for years to come. We can not and must not let this become a reality.
I encourage citizens county-wide and especially those in schools directly affected by this project to share your support with our elected officials. All too often they hear from a vocal minority and not the silent majority. Express your opinion about this now. In this busy season, take a minute to call, write or email the offices of our County Council members and county executive. We can find a way to move this project forward if we have the will to do so.
Ron Willey, president
Wicomico County Board of Education
Until the Wicomico County Board of Ed opens thier books so we know exactly where they are wasting money, they deserve nothing. Government schools are destroying America! I am tired of hearing that it is for the kids. That is a lie and we will have proof of this soon. The WCBO are thieves.