In worst-case scenarios, school closings result in the unemployment of teachers and staff members. Many communities are built around the schools which, if closed, could turn already dwindling neighborhoods into ghost towns. Most importantly, school closings require moving students into already congested schools, which results in even larger class sizes, less one-on-one time and more disciplinary referrals. This year, Maryland schools have been ranked No. 1 in the nation by Education Week, as they have since 2009. Garrett County Public Schools produced some of the highest test scores in the state. This would give the impression that Garrett County has some of the best schools in the nation. Understandably, each state has different variables for ranking schools. But would it not make sense to provide adequate funding for a county's highly rated educational system? One would think. And if we can't rely on our governments, either county or state, to better prioritize the dispensing of our hard-earned tax dollars, then maybe "begging" is the answer.
Photo: Karlo Gesner; Text: Jennifer Vitez Wampler