Chamber Hosts State of the Wicomico County Schools Luncheon


The SACC annual State of the Wicomico County Public Schools Luncheon, presented by First Shore Federal Savings and Loan Association, Comcast, and Delmarva Power, was held on May 8th at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury. Additional sponsors included 47 ABC—WMDT, Salisbury University, Wicomico County Public Schools, Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, and Morning Star Publications.

More than one hundred business and community leaders gathered to hear from Wicomico County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Micah Stauffer on the current state of the county school system. 

Stauffer began his presentation with an overview of the twenty-nine schools and programs that comprise the entire Wicomico Public Schools system. 

Investment and funding were overarching themes of Dr. Stauffer’s presentation.

“Maryland’s Blueprint funding allocates for early childhood education; high-quality, diverse teachers and leaders; college and career readiness; resources to ensure students’ success; and governance and accountability.”

Dr. Stauffer added, “We need accountability on everything we do as a system but have to balance that with doing what our community expects us to do for our system.”

He explained what Blueprint funding does not cover and that it is the school system’s responsibility to invest in it with county funding. 

Those areas include student safety and school discipline, class sizes, athletics, classroom technology, transportation, support staff, and employee benefits, to name a few. 

Stauffer added, “These are not programs funded by the Blueprint; without adequate local investment, they will leave us in an unsustainable position as a school system.”

Wicomico County is second to last in statewide per-pupil funding from the county government for FY 2025, based on Maintenance of Effort. Somerset County ranking last.

Dr. Stauffer addressed that challenge, “Our school’s county contribution, as a percentage of the entire County budget, has fallen steadily since 2006. County funding then was 41% of the county budget. Had the county maintained that level, local school funding would be $81 million annually.”  

In 2024, county school system funding was just over 26% of the county budget. Stauffer stated, “The county’s minimum legal contribution fails to account for inflation or escalating costs, leaving us unable to sustain the current level of services. These are challenges that must be addressed moving forward.”

Amidst the challenges, Dr. Stauffer highlighted some notable achievements of the Wicomico County Public Schools system. For instance, the class of 2023 received more than $27 million in scholarships, demonstrating the system’s commitment to academic excellence. He also mentioned that a Wicomico student has served as the student representative to the State Board of Education for two of the last three years, a testament to the system’s focus on student leadership. Furthermore, he acknowledged the numerous student awards, honors, and championships in sports, underscoring the system’s dedication to holistic development.

Dr. Stauffer’s presentation is available in its entirety at