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Carlisle Area School District

Pictured is the entrance to Carlisle High School.

Hard decisions are on the horizon for a Carlisle Area School Board looking to close a projected $3 million gap in the 2019-20 budget.

Business Manager Owen Snyder presented an overview Thursday of a draft expense budget that comes in at $87,330,030 compared to a draft revenue budget of $84,330,097.

The Act 1 Index will limit any increase in the real estate tax to a maximum of 3-percent next year. Should the board follow through on this tax hike, it would generate about $1.3 million in new revenue, Snyder said.

He said state lawmakers could increase the subsidy next year to Carlisle by $200,000 to $300,000. The combined total of a boost in millage and subsidy would bridge roughly half of the projected budget gap.

No action was taken Thursday. Administrators plan to present details on April 11 that would include recommended changes to balance the budget. The current schedule is for the board to approve a proposed budget on May 16 and a final budget on June 20.

Meanwhile, the board could vote on Dec. 13 to increase by $10 the daily rate it pays substitute teachers from $90 to $100. A recent survey of nearby school districts found that Carlisle is one of three offering the lowest per diem pay rate.

Superintendent Christina Spielbauer said increasing the pay rate may make Carlisle more competitive and improve the fill rates in district classrooms. If approved, the new rate takes effect Jan. 2.

The board Thursday also received an update on the project to convert former warehouse space into office space in the district administrative building. Work on that project includes the conference room the board uses for its committee meetings.

Starting Jan. 3, every school board meeting will be held in the large group instruction room of the Fowler Building of Carlisle High School.

Committee meetings tend to be held the first and second Thursdays of each month leading up to the regular board meeting the third Thursday. Carlisle board meetings generally start at 7 p.m.

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