Friday, March 21, 2003
Carlisle faces $189K override to fund CCHS
On Tuesday the Carlisle Board of Selectmen and the Carlisle Finance Committee decided to place a single override question on the ballot and the Warrant for the Spring Town Meeting. The entire $189,429 override would be used to fund the Concord-Carlisle High School FY04 budget. This level of funding would provide the high school an increase of about 3.6% over fiscal year 2003. This is below the "level services" budget originally proposed by the regional school committee (RSC).
Proposition 2-1/2, a 1980 state law, limits annual tax increase to 2-1/2 %. If additional funds are needed, Town Meeting must approve an override of the Proposition 2-1/2 levy limit.
RSC accepts 'compromise budget'
"It's a compromise budget, but we're in a year when we need a compromise," said RSC chair Betsy Bilodeau. When the selectmen asked if the compromise budget would still provide reasonable educational services to the students, Bilodeau replied, "It's an extremely tight budget, but we've been told by the superintendent that we can do it."
Town officials now hope that Concord decides to place the same levels of CCHS funding before their voters. Although Concord has not yet finalized its Warrant, the compromise budget represents a level of funding supported by the Concord FinCom.
If only one override level for CCHS is offered to Carlisle voters, the RSC agreed to accept that level of funding. However, if Concord or Carlisle were to decide to offer voters any lower override options, then the RSC would request that the full "level services" budget be offered to voters as well. Because each town's assessment is proportional to the number of students it sends to the high school, Concord must approve an override of $475,000 to match Carlisle's $189,000.
Carlisle School gets a bit more
The FY04 funding for town departments and the Carlisle Public School is currently included in the levy limit (no-override) budget. The Carlisle school administration has agreed to drop a request for a SPED instructor to make up for one lost in the 2003 budget. A second grade teacher and a reading specialist lost in 2003 would be restored next year through budget reshuffling and a fund transfer.
For the overall town budget, the FinCom recommended to the selectmen a levy limit budget for FY04 with total revenue and expenditures of $18,837,957. The selectmen approved a total of 31 Warrant articles, and anticipate the Annual Town Meeting to take two days. It will convene on Monday, May 5, and if necessary will be continued on Tuesday, May 6.
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