Friday, June 18, 1999
Concord schools override fails
Organized opposition was successful in defeating an override of $435,161 for the Concord K-8 public schools on June 10. Of Concord's 11,212 registered voters, 2,563 voters opposed the only question on the ballot, while 2,232 supported the request.The Proposition 2-1/2 override was expected to add $59 to a median-priced home. The vote will have no impact on the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School.
Prior to the vote, Concord School Committee members had said the override amount was necessary to fund increasing special education costs and salary obligations as well as to introduce a limited number of new educational programs. A second ballot question, which would have requested the lower amount of $219,000, was dismissed by the school committee during negotiations with the selectmen, according to the Concord Journal.The selectmen and FinCom backed the lower sum.
A number of political action groups were active prior to the election. Most noticeable were signs posted by Support Our Schools and the oppostion group, Preserving Concord's Diversity.
According to Assistant Superintendent Karen Nerpouni, the list of recommended reductions include: no teacher contingency fund should class sizes grow over the summer, no funding for field trips and museum admissions, no funding for middle school athletics and co-curricular programs, no instrumental music lessons for grades 4-6, no MCAS after-school or summer remedial help, reduction in library aide hours, no beginning foreign language course for students in grades 7 and 8.
In a letter to parents, Nerpouni said, "The loss of personnel programs, reresearch funds and materials will be deeply felt. The decisions were made with great difficulty."
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito