To the editor: Mr. Bob Crandall's comprehensive review of the academic standing of Kent County's public school system may affect another local concern of mine; namely, Kent's economic vitality.
I spent 15 years helping restore foreign economies of war-torn countries and thus have followed Kent's for the 25 years we've lived here.
The 2020 Census and the county's June 30, 2020 Comprehensive Financial Report, provide useful data.
Kent's population continues to decline, by 5% over the past decade. And almost 30% in 2020 are 65 and older. Thus, not surprisingly, the percentage of the population in the workforce has dropped to 58% and those living in poverty is up — 12.4% versus the state's 9%. Household income in Kent at $58,000 also is significantly lower than Maryland's, $84,000.
What do these statistics have to do with the quality of Kent's Public Schools?
The first, is many families with school-age children don't appear to be moving here, which contributes to the continuing shrinkage of Kent's public school student body. The latter fact translates into a smaller state contribution to its financial support, partially explaining why Kent County consistently ranks No. 3 or 4 among Maryland's 24 systems, in county support per public school pupil.
The second is more a personal opinion. Kent County, with its natural beauty and advanced broadband system, strikes me as a natural destination for the increasing number of American telecommuters/remote workers. We are a green spot in the midst of large metro areas with 17 to 18 million residents.
A recent survey of this pandemic phenomenon, notes they are younger and higher earning than the average salaried tax payer. I have no idea if we're trying to recruit them to move here, but one negative they might consider before doing so, is the county's school system.