Meanwhile, more attention around our region has been rightfully focused on another key demographic shift happening simultaneous to changes in the principalship. Since 2000, every one of the 24 jurisdictions in Maryland has registered a significant increase in both the numbers and percentages of students receiving free and reduced meals (FARMS), a conventional proxy for family poverty rates. Even traditional areas of relative wealth such as Montgomery County have not been exempt from this growth during the past 15 years, with a rise of nearly 17,000 more students in need — constituting more than a third of its student population. Equally striking are the relatively large proportions of FARMS in rural districts such as Wicomico and Somerset counties, where rates hover between 60 and 70 percent. Overall, Maryland showed a 17-point increase from 29 percent in 2009 to 46 percent in 2015 of all school-age children receiving FARMS.