Friday, November 18, 2005
Carlisle School Committee reviews initial FY07 budget
Carlisle School Business Manager Steve Moore presented an outline of FY07 budget at the November 8 Carlisle School Committee meeting. "This is far from a complete budget," he warned. It does not include any "step" increases in salaries, and it assumes no increase in school supplies. Fees such as sports, transportation, and full-day kindergarten will continue. The new teachers contract is currently under negotiation.
Moore listed the "fundamentals" and "financial assumptions" which were used to build the FY07 budget. All current programs and contractual obligations will continue, and the kindergarten and first grade will each have four sections (the kindergarten is currently three sections due to lower enrollment). The operating budget of $64,000 for the new wastewater treatment facility is included.
Energy costs increases of 50% are the largest change in the budget.
Moore expects the cancellation of Title I funds (income bracket for the town disqualifies the school) which will require the school to fully fund the Math Specialist position (salary was partly funded by Title I). Transportation costs should rise due to fuel costs. The "Circuit Breaker" funds of $218,000 should remain the same (Mass. state reimbursement for SPED cost). A restructuring of the middle school classes is being considered, which may incur small additional staffing expenses.
The school administration is recommending a new hire of an educational support person to help Reading Specialists Donna Clapp and Susan Helenius-LaPorte identify students needing services, and to give instructional aid to students in grades K — 3. Doyle pointed out that intervening with reading and writing problems in the early grades could greatly help students who do not need special education.
"Do we have any data on special education savings with having the specialists?" asked Carlisle School Committee Chair David Dockterman. It is difficult to quantify, Doyle explained, because each intervention and student is unique. Dockterman wondered if there was a way to demonstrate the positive benefits of having reading specialists. "We've got to demonstrate what we get for this," he concluded.
Spanish and Chinese will be offered at the elementary level, but the cost will be covered by a two-year grant from the Carlisle Educational Foundation. Chinese will also be offered at the middle school level and the cost will be included in the budget. Spanish and French will continue to be offered at the middle school level.
Technology support, equipment
The preliminary budget requests funding for an existing technical support position funded this past year by a grant from the Carlisle School Association. A capital request for the replacement of equipment will be included, as well as funds for the school Internet and web server.
Both the School Improvement Plan and the District Goals have highlighted the need for an Activity Coordinator. This stipend position ($2,500) would, for example, coordinate after-school educational activities.
© 2005 The