The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 25, 2002

Regional School Committee Chair writes

To the Editor:

The Regional School Committee will be engaging in both a budgeting process and contract negotiations during this school year.

On the budget side, the School Committee is budgeting with the knowledge that state funding may be reduced, both for the current and the next fiscal year. In the current fiscal year we did reduce some programs and delay spending to accommodate a shortfall in revenues from the state. For the next fiscal year we will continue to budget carefully. The Finance Committee serves as an advisory committee to the town. The town's voters can choose to follow their advice, or may choose not to depending on corresponding values of the voters. The School Committee must put forth a responsible budget that will provide for the educational needs of our students. Committees will work closely together to try to give voters choices that make sense. Each voter, come Election Day, should understand the consequences of the vote they cast. I hope that voters will continue the tradition of providing for a strong educational system that makes both towns proud.

As for negotiations with the CCHS teacher association, the process is called collective bargaining. The teachers' association will come to the negotiating table with a position. The negotiating team for the school committee will also come with a position. The two sides will collectively bargain until an agreement is reached, a process governed by law. It was disturbing to see in the Carlisle paper, under "Shorts from the finance committee," a note that says, "CCHS teacher contracts are up for renewal, with the threat of a strike hanging over the negotiations". It is like seeing a wedding announcement with a note that says, "divorce is likely". Such a statement prior even to the start of negotiations serves no useful purpose. The School Committee is looking forward to a constructive negotiating process.

As what promises to be a challenging year unfolds, I urge the citizens of Carlisle to understand processes and stay informed. The Regional School Committee will be working closely with leadership in both towns, and will strive to give voters choices that make sense and maintain our excellent schools.

Betsy Bilodeau
Regional School Committee Chair

Blanket collection for needy

To the Editor:

Now that the cold weather is bearing down fast upon us, our family is collecting blankets for Solutions At Work, an arm of the Boston and Cambridge Homeless Coalition. We will be collecting blankets until Thanksgiving. At that point we will deliver them to Solutions At Work who in turn will directly distribute them to the homeless on the streets of Boston and Cambridge. Anyone caring to donate a new or used blanket can drop them off at our house at 39 Baldwin Road or stick them in the collection box in our barn. We managed to buy some nice, thick, polar fleece blankets at a mill in NH. So if you're leaf-peeping up north and happen to go by a mill, that is a good place to get some bargain prices on thick, warm wool or fleece blankets. And, of course, your donation is tax deductible. So share some warmth this winter and drop off your blankets!!!

The Petrie Family
Baldwin Road

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito