By Scott Wadland
FRAMINGHAM – As Framingham prepares for its next set of elections one of the words we hear from almost every candidate is equity.
But to me, stating that you stand for equity is like saying that you support “motherhood and apple pie” – nobody is going to disparage you for taking such a position.
The real substance comes when you understand what a candidate means when they talk about equity.
To me as a School Committee member and candidate for re-election, equity means:
- Making sure that all children have access to a top-quality education, which is why as President of the TownWide PTO I helped organize parents to push the Superintendent to provide highly-qualified Social Studies teachers at Fuller Middle School just like those already in place at the other middle schools.
- Making sure that our facilities are designed to properly support our programs, which is why I was one of the first to speak out against the preliminary designs for the new Fuller Middle School because they did not include an auditorium similar to what the other middle schools have.
- Making sure that no child is excluded because of their gender identity or expression, which is why as the Policy Subcommittee Chair I helped advance a first-in-the-Commonwealth policy that allows athletic participation regardless of how our students identify or express themselves.
- Making sure that no child is excluded from sports because of financial constraints, which is why I proudly voted to eliminate athletic fees at the high school.
- Making sure that our students are properly nourished and prepared to learn every day, which is why I continue to stand behind our decision to stop denying lunches and “lunch shaming” those who can’t afford to pay for it.
- Making sure that our staff is as racially, culturally and linguistically diverse as our student body, which is why I have supported efforts to broaden our recruiting practices and will make sure that these efforts are properly tracked and funded in the FPS operating budget going forward.
- Making sure that all students are properly prepared for Kindergarten, which is why I have joined a workgroup led by the Superintendent which will develop a plan to make sure that all 4-year-olds have access to a comprehensive and fully aligned pre-Kindergarten program.
- Making sure that we correct the imbalance between where our schools are and where our students live, which is why I will continue to push the administration to incorporate a new school in south Framingham into our long term facilities plan.
As you can see, equity is a complex and multi-dimensional topic. This is why it’s insufficient for a candidate to simply say that they stand for equity – they should be able to articulate what they have done about it here in Framingham and what they plan to do going forward.
Based on my experience and priorities for the future, I humbly ask the voters of District 3 to re-elect me to the School Committee on Tuesday, November 5th.
Scott Wadland is the current Framingham School Committee member for District 3. He is seeking re-election for a 2-year term.