Friday, April 2, 1999
Override amount for high school increases to $60K
of the high school budget, is based on the number ofstudents enrolled at CCHS with Carlisle's pupil ratio for FY00 set at24.32 percent.
Carlisle's share exceeds FinCom guideline
Carlisle's share of the budget for 1999-2000 (FY00) is $2,316,713 which isan increase of $219,637 or 10.5 percent over the FY99 budget of $2,097,076. Atthe RSC meeting last week, the Carlisle FinCom guideline for the highschool budget was listed in documents as $2,280,134, an increase of$183,058 or 8.7 percent. This would have resulted in an override amount of$36,579 in Carlisle.
However, this week Phil Conti of the Carlisle FinCom said the guideline forCCHS is actually a lower figure. Conti said the Carlisle guideline for thehigh school budget is $2,256,521, allowing for an increase of $159,445 or7.6%. The difference between Carlisle's share of the high school budget,and the revised FinCom guideline results in an overrideamount of $60,192. According to Conti, the guidelines are set based on thetown revenues projected to be received in FY00, plus the 2.5 percentincrease allowed by Proposition 2-1/2 levy limits and the need to balance the budget, considering all town departments. The guidelines are based on whatthe town can afford within the tax levy limit. FinCom chair CharlieParker was out of town and could not be reached for comment regarding thediscrepancy between the guideline listed at theRSC meeting and the revised guideline.
What makes up the increase?
In a phone call earlier this year, Thayer explained that the increases at thehigh school were in the following areas: 40 percent for contractual salaryraises and new textbooks; 34 percent for rising special education costs dueto more SPED students moving from the Concord and Carlisle middle schools to thehigh school; 21 percent for additional teachers due to increasingenrollments, a Chinese language program, a part-time guidance/teencounselor and a part-time teacher to administer a new technology grant; and5 percent for Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment test remedial instruction and staff development.
What if the override fails?
RSC chair Cindy Nock asked Missal what would happen if the high school budgetoverride request fails in Carlisle. Missal said that according to statelaws governing regional school districts, if the override fails in Carlislethe budget would go back to the RSC to see if any further adjustments couldbe made. If the RSC made no changes, a Special Town Meeting must beconvened in Carlisle to see if citizens approve of the budget. If thebudget is not approved, it would return to the school committee again forany possible changes. Finally, if there were still no changes made to thebudget, a joint Concord-Carlisle Town Meeting would have to take place, butCarlisle would ultimately responsible for the budget override amount, according toMissal.
In early March, the Concord FinCom had increased the budget guideline levelfor CCHS to 6.1 percent, allowing an additional $113,000 in the budget. Acombination of cuts in the high school budget and revenue adjustmentshelped to further reduce the budget by $83,024 to allow CCHS to meet theConcord guideline. After the meeting Nock said that theadjustments made to the budget didn't eliminate any programs.
The budget reductions were: $20,781 deducted for a teacher to assessstudents at-risk for suspension and to oversee students who are suspended"in-house" (this new position was reducedto part-time with funding for half the position sought through a grant proposal)and a $5,000 reduction for contractual adjustments. Revenue adjustmentsto the budget on the plus side were: $21,250 added to the budget reflectingan anticipated $25 per pupil increase in state funding to school districtsproposed by the governor, and $35,993 transferred from an Excess andDeficiencies Fund, which will potentially be reimbursed by anticipatedstate technology grants.
Concord override for K-8
While Thayer was able to reduce the budget for the regional high school,the proposed FY00 operating budget for the Concord Public Schools, GradesK-8, exceeds the Concord FinCom guideline by $547,202 and will require anoverride vote in Concord. According to Missal, the last budget overriderequest for the Concord schools was approximately eight years ago and thatoverride failed to pass. However, there have been two debtexclusions for renovations at the Concord schools in recent years with bothrenovation projects passing.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito