The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 29, 1999


School budgeting process begins

A "level service" school budget for fiscal year 2001 will require increases as a result of contractual obligations, mandated services, and a 4.7-percent increase in enrollment, school business manager Eileen Riley told the Carlisle School Committee at their October 19 meeting. The budget does not yet have dollar amounts attached to it, but just enumerates the areas where increases are foreseen.

Contractual obligations include funding increases agreed to in the teachers' contract: a three-percent salary increase, step increases and the new Masters-plus-60 salary lane for further professional development. The faculty grants and the incentive program are also part of the contract. Noncontractual personnel will receive cost-of-living increases.

The bus contract will be put out to bid in the spring. Last time, only Bedford Charter bid on the contract. An increase in the bid price is expected.

Special education costs are also expected to rise. There will be two additional outside placements, higher contracted service costs, and increases in on-campus special education support staff. Due to rising enrollment, there will be incremental increases for some specialists as well as materials and supplies.

Beyond the level service budget, there are a number of other needs that have been identified. A part-time technology-network support technician is needed to maintain the new network and the many aging classroom computers. Also, this person would allow technology integration specialist David Mayall to spend more time on curriculum development and instruction.

Because of increased enrollment, more outdoor play space is needed, officials said. Possibilities include clearing some of the land near the Carlisle Castle playground and constructing a fence along the road for safety. Also, the upper bus parking area could be used for basketball if the buses parked near Spalding Field during the day.

In addition, school administrators are considering expansion of the choral music, drama and foreign language programs. New keyboarding classes and stringed instrument instruction are also being studied.

Riley concluded that she would like to meet with the finance committee to discuss the school's needs before the budget guidelines are set.

Committee chair David Dockterman suggested that perhaps a line for new programs could be made part of the level services budget because he wanted to make the idea of having new programs an expectation. Member Paul Morrison strongly disagreed, saying that the level service budget needed to be staked out and left alone. The town should have the option to argue about new programs, he said.

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito