The current system of attendance areas is not safe, not equitable, and is financially disastrous.  If students cannot safely transit hallways and stairwells, cannot have room to sit at a desk in a classroom or cafeteria —that is unsafe.  It is not equitable that students at overcrowded schools do not have the same opportunities to engage, to participate in clubs, activities, and sports, learn in a properly sized class, and have a robust high school experience because we simply do not have room to include them.  It is not equitable that students at under-capacity schools do not have as many opportunities to take a full range of courses offered because their staff is smaller due to under-enrollment.  It is financially ruinous to throw away the millions of dollars in existing capitol investment in the western part of the county where student seats go unfilled.

                We must band together as a whole community and promote the health, welfare, and safety of all our students.  To do this, we must comprehensively system-wide redistrict our high school attendance areas.  As we currently have a $50 Million operating budget deficit and have a half billion in deferred maintenance, a solution must all be as cost-neutral as possible. Spending additional tens of millions rehabilitating a former elementary school for a ninth-grade academy is unwise and short-sighted when we desperately need a new high school in the northeast.  I ask that families join me in advocating for our leaders to spend some political capital, band together, and make the difficult, but right decision to redistrict our high schools.


Jen Mallo - 8 posts

Jen has lived in Columbia with her husband, Ted, for nearly 30 years. They have three adult children who have graduated from Wilde Lake High School.

Jen has been a community advocate, leader, and problem solver in the field of education since her kids began preschool. For nearly 20 years, Jen has worked in classrooms and schools while her kids attended Swansfield ES, Harper's Choice MS, and Wilde Lake HS.