Friday, October 3, 2008
Shorts from the Regional School Committee, Sept. 23
• FY10 budget. Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) Business Manager John Flaherty gave a preliminary update on the FY10 budget at the September 23 meeting of the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC). He cautioned, “FY10 will be just as challenging as last year’s for the region.” While the assumption is that state aid for Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) will be level-funded, certain costs are rising significantly. For instance, a natural gas contract with a 14.5% increase was negotiated for FY09 and he expects the same increase next year. He also noted the 81% increase in diesel fuel, and said, “It will be a very tight budget.” Expenses for special education are “about what we budgeted,” said new School Superintendent Diana Rigby. Though there are currently seven fewer out-of-district placements, the overall cost has risen by $100,000 over the previous year, Flaherty pointed out. (See related article, page 14)
• “Question 1” concerns. Both the Concord League of Women Voters and Concord-Carlisle Teachers Association (CCTA) gave a presentation about the Massachusetts referendum, Question 1, to repeal state income taxes, which will be on the state ballot on November 4. Johanna Glazer, CCHS Social Studies teacher and CCTA president, and Caitlin Smith, CCHS Foreign Language teacher and chair of the “Vote No on Question 1” committee, detailed how the repeal of state taxes would impact the schools. They said cuts would be “across the board,” noting that currently 42% of funding for schools comes from the state. They predicted cuts in staffing, elective classes, materials, extra-curricular activities, technology, student support, and building projects.
• Facility summer work. Dave Anderson, head of maintenance at CCHS, described the capital projects done during the summer, including upgrades to lighting in the lower gym and the library. CCHS Librarian Robin Cicchetti said the lighting in the library is so improved that students thought the library had been repainted.
• Trip approved. The committee voted to allow CCHS English teacher Andy Sapp to plan a trip to England during the April vacation for up to 15 students in his spring English class.
• Appointment. The committee voted to appoint Rigby to the Concord Area Special Education (CASE) Collaborative Board.
• Student Advisory Council. Marree Budris, a junior at CCHS and a member of the Student Advisory Council, described the new Student Initiative Program, geared to “help new students adjust.” The student-run program includes an up-coming luncheon at which students and adults will offer orientation information on the guidance program, extra-curricular activities, and other topics. Advisory member and senior Blair Robinson reported on the first school dance of the year, “It was very successful. We had no issues with substance abuse or people dressing inappropriately.” She noted the class of 2011 will be selling reusable shopping bags as a fundraiser. ∆
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