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Up At Bat: Montgomery County Overcomes Suffering Finances

Abby Singley

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Two nights ago, I had to call a friend whose dog had died that day to remind her to bring the five dollars she owed me for lunch. Yesterday, I almost punched my section editor in the face for stealing a quarter out of my purse.

Why am I such an insensitive person? Because I am an unemployed, 18-year-old high school senior. I feel bad enough about asking my parents for spending money, considering attending my dream school will cost about $40,000 a year. Should I be worried about this dramatic downfall of the economy? Even if I do have a roof over my head, for now, is it necessary to fret over whether or not I will be employed after college?

I am anxious about the future. How could anyone not panic after hearing pundits on television comparing our economic crisis to the Great Depression? It may seem as if students are not being affected by this current century depression at all, but everyone is being hit economically in someway or another. For example, your family could have a hard time profiting from selling your home at the moment due to the drop in value of houses around our area. Homes that were originally overpriced and sold within days of being posted for sale are now being valued much less and stay on the market for much longer.

Nonetheless, the obvious issue regarding college tuition is a concern. Students with the desire to attend Montgomery College could be paying 2.8 percent more in tuition. Small liberal arts colleges such as Grinnell College, Hamilton College and Lawrence College will be increasing their acceptance rates for early decision applicants in order to lock in more students for the upcoming fall semester. Polls show that students are already turning down spots in these highly regarded private institutions due to the costly tuition.

Even though I hear students grumbling over how broke they are, how their parents worry about paying for college tuition and how they just lost their after school job, we, the students of Montgomery County are far more privileged than others.

On March 16, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett laid out his new tax-supported operating budget for the fiscal year starting July 1. Within the new budget plan, MCPS will have their budget increased by two percent, meaning a $38.5 million increase. This new number should allow MCPS to fully fund all educational programs. In addition, due to the state funding error last year, MCPS will receive an additional $24 million for funding. Also, Leggett plans for the county to apply for a waiver from the state “maintenance of effort” requirement. This will lower county contribution costs by $50 million and schools will continue to be fully funded for their needs.

Apparently, there is still hope for us. Instead of panicking, students can remain financially stable by dog-walking or mowing lawns, the types of tasks that will always need to be done regardless of the rut our economy is in.

So what if I can’t seem to find a job? I can hold off on buying those $120 hundred Birkenstock sandals I wanted, can’t I?

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About the Writer
Abby Singley, Online Editor-in-Chief

Abby Singley was on the Pitch staff since her sophomore year, and as a senior, she was Online Editor-in-Chief and the Print Copy Chief in 2010-2011. The previous year, Abby was the first online editor-in-chief, and was also a copy editor during her sophomore and junior years. She is excited to be involved with the up-and-coming Pitch Online and help bring news to the WJ community in a faster, more innovative way. When not scanning the online administrator page or copy editing articles, Abby likes reading pop culture and news magazines and Web sites. Although she does not know where she is going to school yet, Abby will be entering college as a journalism major next year.

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Up At Bat: Montgomery County Overcomes Suffering Finances