Friday, February 9, 2007
Other state mandates impact schools
The Carlisle Schools are challenged by trying to fulfill numerous state mandates. Many of these mandates are unfunded or under-funded, which puts a great strain on municipalities.
The state requires schools to be in session 180 days a year, with 900 hours on learning in elementary schools and 990 hours of learning at secondary schools.
Prior to 2004, the state paid for school transportation costs. Since then, the State only pays for regional school transportation, shifting the majority of those costs to municipalities. The state mandates free bus service for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. In Carlisle, to offset transportation costs, the School Committee reluctantly voted to assess parents of seventh and eighth graders a $395 fee per student to ride the bus.
Mandate 504 states that students with a documented disability, whether it is physical, mental or learning, which impacts them from accessing general education, shall be accommodated. Examples: a student with a physical disability may need an elevator to get to second-story classrooms. A student who has a disability relating to fine motor control may be eligible for a computer to do his/her work.
By Massachusetts Law, students who do not know English are entitled to a translator, tutor or teacher as part of the English Language Learners (ELL) program.
© 2007 The