The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 23, 2009

CSC Chair Chad Koski explains his support for a Superintendency Union

To the Editor:

On Wednesday, January 21, the Carlisle School Committee will be discussing the possibility of creating a Superintendency Union with the Concord and the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Districts. A Superintendency Union is an agreement between two or more school districts in which administrative services and associated costs are shared between the districts. The result is a reduction in administrative costs for each district, while still allowing the districts to maintain control over their own budgets and educational priorities.

Administrative consolidation is a significant change for any district, especially one as small as Carlisle’s. However, these difficult economic times force us to examine all areas of our budget to assure that we make the most efficient use of the limited resources available. While we have been able to avoid making significant cuts to teachers in the past, the current economic climate and the lack of other cost saving opportunities will force us to examine this option unless we restructure. The review of our administrative structure is in no way an indictment of the professionals that work in our administration. We are blessed with a highly qualified and dedicated administration that works tirelessly on behalf of our students. This examination is simply a result of the budgetary review process, and the reality that our administrative costs are a significant portion of our budget.

The primary focus of any school district is the education of its students. Any decision must be made while keeping in mind its impact on the quality of the educational system. It has always been a priority to assure that our students are properly prepared for the high school curriculum, and arrive at CCHS with the same level of preparedness as their counterparts from Concord. A single administration overseeing the entire Pre-K - 12 system will enhance this goal. Keeping class size at reasonable levels has also been a focus. Cost savings afforded by a shared administration allows us to maintain class sizes within our established guidelines.

It has been suggested that we might consider looking at individual administrative positions instead of the entire administration. School administration is very demanding with most of the requirements mandated by state law. As a result, we cannot simply cut an administrative position or two without jeopardizing the ability of the administration to meet the educational requirements set both locally and by state law. Because administrators need to work closely in order to perform their duties, school administration is an “all or none” proposition. We can either continue to maintain our existing administrative structure, or we can share an administration with Concord. Carlisle already shares an administration with Concord through the Concord-Carlisle Regional School District, so this is not a blind decision.

While no decision has been made yet, and ultimately all three districts will need to agree that this is a good idea, the Carlisle School Committee believes that this option is important to explore. We have an opportunity to assure the continued viability of our school district without adversely affecting the quality of the education we provide. The Carlisle Public Schools will benefit from a single, unified educational vision for K-12, and maintenance of reasonable class sizes. These benefits alone make it irresponsible for us not to consider this possibility.

Chad Koski

Chairman Carlisle School Committee

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