Friday, December 22, 2006
CCHS budget out of sync with Carlisle's levy limit
The Concord Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) voted on December 12 to approve the high school budget of $20,369,327. Carlisle's share of the cost is $56,000 over Carlisle's levy limit. The Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) budget includes an increase of $1,180,045 or 6.15% over FY07.
The largest component of the increase is due to non-negotiable factors such as contractual salary adjustments, rising health insurance, retirement and transportation costs. Also included are $263,000 of identified school needs: including $81,000 for regular education staff (1.5 full time equivalents), $30,000 for administrative support for compliance, $54,000 for one Special Education staff member and $98,000 for capital outlay.
The RSC discussed the levy limit issue. Several options were debated: money could be taken from the Free Cash account, or Carlisle could call for an override. Traditionally, if one town has not needed an override, this has not been done. Another option is to cut the high school budget to align with Carlisle's levy limit. However, in order to reduce Carlisle's share by $56,000 the high school budget would need to be reduced by about $200,000. It was felt this shortfall would have significant negative effects.
RSC member Michael Fitzgerald said, "We do not have an agreement, but the process will continue until late February. We will work with [Carlisle Finance Committee] FinCom and the Selectmen."
Capital needs for CCHS
CCHS Director of Operations and Finance, John Flaherty, talked about the preliminary capital needs that have been identified for the high school. The Facility Improvement Plan calls for $1,245,000 in spending. Included is $200,000 for a new transportation building, $48,000 for the septic system and $20,000 for furnishings for that transportation building. The school is also requesting $150,00 for one double-wide modular for classroom or office space, $175,000 for integrated human resource and financial management software, $285,000 for a heating system upgrade, $75,000 for new science lab hoods, $120,000 for cafeteria renovations, $170,000 for a fire alarm detection improvement and $150,000 for an upgrade to existing lighting.
Flaherty said they expect to buy or rent two modular classrooms and may need a third. He expects to use excess money from the FY07 budget for one of these.
The RSC voted to approve the Capital Plan.
© 2006 The