Project Equity Addresses Funding at Malden Public Schools

Project Equity Logo.

The lack of funding for Malden Public Schools is a topic that has been brought to the forefront of administrative discourse. Trends have started to emerge on social media, such as #Fundourfuture and #RedforEd, aimed at bringing awareness to the lack of funding and the difficulties schools are having trying to give opportunities and the education students need and deserve.

In addressing those developing trends, Mayor Christenson comments “[He] believe[s] that any way [administrators] can educate the public on the current state of the education funding formula will help to update the formula to benefit cities and towns like [Malden].”

“[Malden is] over a billion dollars underfunded by the states own calculations,” stated Jessica Haralson, a teacher's union representative. “What this means for places like Malden,” she adds “is that [the schools are] short about 190 staff, which is a shocking number.”

This problem leads to larger class sizes and fewer all-around support for students of all ages and backgrounds. Haralson expresses that “this isn’t just teachers complaining, this is us realizing that students aren’t getting what they deserve and that they deserve a different future.”

On Tuesday, January 8, 2019, in the Malden High School Jenkins Auditorium, a meeting took place in hopes to inform local residents and parents of the school funding issue that has been and still is causing significant detrimental effects towards students future. Such meetings have been taking place throughout the United States, as part of a movement is called Project Equity.

Project Equity’s goals include informing people of the funding issues and beginning to address the necessary improvements to the inefficient Foundation Budget Formula or otherwise known as Chapter 70. The Foundation Budget Formula has not been updated since it was created in 1993, even though the costs crucial for educating students raises approximately 3% every year.

In the article “Fixing Malden’s School Funding” by Conor Powers-Smith, Aldo Petronio, the chief budget officer for the Brockton Public Schools, stated that “The formula needs to be adjusted, it needs to have a constant adjustment every single year.”

In Malden, Mayor Christenson, Superintendent John Oteri and the Teachers Union representatives are working towards bringing awareness to the predicament students are facing with their education due to their inept school funding. Their goal is to encourage the State House and Senate lawmakers to act on updating the bill to accommodate the vital growing needs for students education success, which should occur before the end of the Legislature’s formal session on July 31.

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