Friday, February 12, 1999
Carlisle's share of CCHS budget up 11 percent: override request likely
The Concord-Carlisle Regional School District budget was presented to the Carlisle Finance Committee on February 1 by school Superintendent Eugene Thayer and director of financial services Gerald Missal. The recommended FY00 budget, as voted by the regional school committee on January 26, totaled $12,372,662. This represents a 6.9 percent increase ($797,748) over the previous year. The FinCom guideline, by comparison, was $12,157, 502, or a 5 percent increase.
Missal explained that the Carlisle assessment ratio for FY00 has been set at 0.2432, an increase of 3.1 percent due to increasing enrollment. Of the 938 students at CCHS as of October 1, 1998, 207 were from Carlisle. The 89 Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunities (METCO) students are not included in the assessment ratio.
Excluding $993,920 in debt service for high school renovations from the proposed FY00 budget leaves $11,378,742, which exceeds the tax levy limit. A credit of $1,788,030 in state aid and local revenue results in a total of $9,590,712. Using the assessment ratio, Carlisle's share comes to $2,332,461, an 11.2 percent increase from FY99.
If FinCom's guideline is given similar treatment, as requested in chair Charles Parker's memo of December 17, Carlisle's share would be $2,280,134, an 8.7 percent increase. The difference of $52,327 between the requested and proposed budgets will require a regional high school budget override request. The override must be approved by voters in Concord and Carlisle at both Town Meetings and elections this spring. As an afterthought, Missal remembered that health costs had recently risen by $18,000. "Carlisle's share is about $4,500, which should be added to the $52,327," he concluded.
Parker took the opportunity to share his concern over the ever-increasing cost of special education (SPED). "SPED only gets 7.5 percent paid by the state. Some states get 50 percent," he lamented. "There will come a time when SPED costs will exceed the regular costs of education. We need to get the legislature to recognize this."
One year ago, on February 10, 1998, state Representative Pam Resor (D-Concord) appeared at a Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee meeting. When asked if the legislature was considering funding a greater portion of the special education costs, Resor responded that there was concern that more students would be placed in special education in exchange for more money.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito