Friday, July 16, 1999
Concord officials request more state aid to cover special education costs
At a June 29 meeing, Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee chair Fred Wersan distributed a draft of a letter to Governor Paul Cellucci, House Speaker Thomas Finneran and other state officials requesting an increase in state funding for special education programs required by state law.
The letter, signed by both the Concord Board of Selectmen and both the Concord and Concord-Carlisle School Committees states, "We believe that education generally needs to be funded by broader-based taxation at the state and federal level. Special education, in particular, is an area of educational funding that is putting great strain on local budgets because of inadequate funding." The letter goes on to explain, "We do not dispute the need for and value of special education. What we do protest is the underfunded state mandate that is this program. Relief and reform are needed and are needed now."
Citing the recent debate over the language of special education standards that has taken place at the State House, the selectmen and school committees are asking state officials, "Please separate the political issue of special education standards from the money issue, which exists either way." The RSC voted to approve the letter and, according to Wersan, similar letters are being sent by other communities around the state.
Plans are underway for a skateboard park at the Alcott School in Concord. The Waltham YMCA will fund a 60-by-60-foot hardtop surface at the end of the school parking lot. Concrete pipelines and other structures will be installed at the new location which may not be completed until the end of summer.
Last summer, the skateboard park was set up at the high school to give students a place to practice the sport away from town traffic.
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito