The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 25, 2009

Request to study regionalization

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) decided to make a formal request to the Boards of Selectmen of both towns to have the Selectmen initiate a study to explore expanding regionalization between Concord and Carlisle to include grades K-8. RSC member Peter Fischelis promoted this idea. Superintendent Diana Rigby said it would make sense for students.

RSC member Louis Salemy made it clear that he felt the onus should be on the Selectmen, not the School Committees. He sees it as a town decision, not a School Committee decision. Salemy said he would support the study if the Selectmen request it.

RSC member Dale Ryder said “We can go to the Board of Selectmen and discuss it.” She added, “There will be quite a lot of resistance in Carlisle.” Both Carlisle members of the RSC, Ryder and Salemy, were sensitive to the fact that the Carlisle School Superintendent had been through a rough year last year due to the superintendency union discussions.

Fischelis said, “We may find out from the study that it doesn’t make sense.” RSC member Pam Gannon brought up the fact that with decreasing state funds, the state will promote regionalization. She said, “It makes sense to have the data.”

Salemy said that such a study would cost between $20,000 and $30,000. “It needs to be decided how it is paid for.”

Maynard regionalization not an option at this time

Fischelis and Rigby recently met with Maynard officials to discuss regionalization, as a follow-up on a request from Maynard last May. Like CCHS, Maynard High School is in need of significant repairs or replacement. The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) had asked Maynard to explore regionalization options with nearby towns, which is why Fischelis and Rigby had been contacted.

Fischelis said he explained his concerns at that meeting. Currently Maynard’s funding per student is significantly lower than the level of funding per student at CCHS. “Would they (Maynard) be supportive of our budget? We have strong backing from our two towns.” Fischelis has heard that regionalizations between three towns can have difficulties in terms of getting agreement on budgets and overrides. He said, “I’ve heard there were nightmares for three-town regionalizations,” Fischelis continued. “Maynard has roughly 350 students in their high school. I’m not sure we want a high school of 1600 students.” He added that if the MSBA would build a three-way high school and Maynard would support our budget, he would consider the option but it didn’t make sense at this juncture. Rigby said Maynard needed an answer now. “We said, ‘No, not at this time.” ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito