Page 8 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, November 19, 2021 INSIDE INFORMATION: Malden budget analyst warns on inequity in state funding aid formula Local official advises City Council to work together with state legislators to rectify disparity in region Beginning as soon as the 2022 By Steve Freker T he real head-scratching began in earnest two years ago when the landmark Student Opportunity Act (SOA) and its accompanying funding allocations were unveiled and the city of Malden appeared to be getting the proverbial short end of the stick. While neighboring, similar communities like Everett received close to $14 million is SOA funding, Malden's allocation was a fraction of that, in the $2.2 million range. At a recent Malden City Council meeting, city budget analyst Ron Hogan described the existing situation on this community where the state funding aid formula does not balance with Malden's needs. In a comparative analysis with a similar community such as Everett for example, Malden's needs do not match up with such critical funding as Chapter 70 aid for schools and in other areas. "It is now out of whack," Hogan told the Councillors. "It's something we have been aware for some time and it is coming to a head." Hogan said the state aid funding being allocated is increasingly leaving a gap which is not going to be sustainable in the near future. The key ingredient to the funding formula that does not truly match Malden's profile is the wealth per capita, which, in this city, according to city officials, does not accurately depict Malden's basic funding need. There are other inequities as well, officials say. For instance, according to a 2020 report by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce claims that the formula for distributing state funding to schools in Massachusetts gives wealthier communities more money than they need, creating a widening gap in the student expense of lower-income communities. Hogan said the Chapter 70 funding formula was established in 1993 and "a lot has changed since then."Several Councillors concurred that the nearly 30-year-old formula is now "largely obsolete". Hogan added that Malden's state legislative delegation, led by state Sen. Jason Lewis, who actually authored the Student Opportunity Act, has been working in concert with city leaders to address this major issue. The Malden budget analyst said it is time for state legislators to revamp the funding formula for Chapter 70, primarily, so communities like Malden do not fall further behind financially. ******* Malden City Councillors continue to work on redistricting change proposals The Malden City Council 425r Broadway Saugus, MA 01906 781-231-1111 Located adjacent to Kohls Plaza Rt. 1 South in Saugus at the intersection of Walnut St. We are a skating rink with bowling alleys, arcade and Two TV’s where the ball games are always on. PUBLIC SKATING SCHEDULE 12-8 p.m. $8.50 Private Parties 7:30-11 p.m. Adult Night 18+ Only Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Private Parties Private Parties 4-11 p.m. $8.50 Everyone must pay admission after 6 p.m. 12-11 p.m. $8.50 Everyone must pay admission after 6 p.m. Sorry No Checks Inline Skate Rentals $3.00 additional Roller skate rentals included in all prices BIRTHDAY & PRIVATE PARTIES AVAILABLE www.roller-world.com School Vacation Weeks 12-8 p.m. 419 BROADWAY. EVERETT, MA 02149 771 SALEM ST. LYNNFIELD, MA 01940 WWW.EVERETTBANK.COM 617-387-1110 781-776-4444 Member FDIC | Member DIF As always, access our ATMs and your Online & Mobile Banking anytime. Enroll at www.EverettBank.com Happy Thanksgiving! We are grateful for your business and trust this year. We will be closed for Thanksgiving on 11.25, but back open 11.26. $10.00 Sunday Monday Tuesday continues to work on the new Redistricting Plan, which as it stands now would make a major change in the city's Ward setup. mid-term federal and state election cycle, if approved, Malden would retain its eight Wards, but increase from two to three precincts per ward for the first time ever. An ad hoc Redistricting Committee was set up by the Council and they have already met twice. **** City hosting a Winter Festival on Pleasant Street in Malden Square on Saturday, December 4 One of the most popular local annual events of the past two decades will remain on the shelf this year, but a new tradition will begin in its place to help Malden kick off the holiday season. The Malden Parade of Holiday Traditions held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day in November from 20042019, and as the Christmas Parade for a number of years before that, was cancelled last year for the first time since 2004 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not returning for the 2021 holiday season. Mayor Gary Christenson announced this week the city of Malden will host an outdoor Winter Festival on Saturday, December 4 from 12-4 p.m. in the Malden officials are hoping for a revamped Chapter 70 funding formula in the future.Courtesy/ City of Malden heart of Malden Square. The Winter Festival will be modeled after the highly successful Summer Festivals, which were held twice monthly in June, July and August and drew droves of visitors to the multi-faceted events. This time around, the one-day Winter Festival will once again be chockful of local and regional artists and artisans who will have a wide arrayof gift ideas for purchase at booths lining up and down Pleasant Street. Pleasant Street in Malden Square will feature over 50 artists displaying their wares and you'll find perfect handmade crafts, gifts, cards, and jewelry as well as delicious baked goods.

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