Friday, March 16, 2007
Carlisle School agrees to budget cuts
After many meetings with the Carlisle Finance Committee and the Board of Selectmen, the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) voted on March 7 to reduce their override request from $241,000 to $150,000. The $91,000 reduction will force the firing of one special education teacher and 2 1/2 special education aides, explained Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle. They are "the only things left [to cut] to meet the guidelines" that the Fincom has recommended, she added. "The $150,000 means we do not have to cut additional staff," explained Doyle in an e-mail. "Already we have reduced the staff by five teaching positions, reduced our supply line, cut JV coaches, and cut maintenance by $25,000." If the override does not pass, the school may lose at least six more positions. "I hope that the override passes as these funds are needed to maintain our current model and support our students effectively," Doyle said.
School Committee Chair Nicole Burkel said there is a town-wide concern about the projected rising tax rate. The $150,000 will be bundled in with other town department requests, which is another concern, said Burkel. "The way this [the override] is structured, it is a huge risk." She asked,"If it fails, what are we going to do?"
CSC member Michael Fitzgerald wondered how the school's level of services will be maintained with the budget cuts. With energy costs rising, he said, the cost of operating the school will eventually push the level of services down, if budget increases can not occur. He said the town needs to be educated on what the $150,000 means for the school and what would happen if it does not pass. The total school budget amount is $8,816,648 for FY08.
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