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Letter: Budgeting responsibly with candidate slate

Bruce Clash | The Sentinel

Nov 4, 2023

"Careful financial management has enabled the board to keep tax increases to a minimum and below inflation for the last four years. The district maintains a pristine credit rating and a low debt load, which will allow us to construct a new school building and address K-8 program and learning needs with minimal impact to taxpayers."

As finance chair for the Carlisle Area School Board, I know school funding is one of our most challenging issues. We work to maintain and improve our educational programs even while state funding has not kept pace with rising costs.

Our district receives only 32 percent of its funding from the state, leaving local property owners to shoulder the rest. Our central task is to meet the unique educational needs of all 5,200 Carlisle area students while being fair to taxpayers.

Since becoming finance chair, I have led efforts to revamp our budgeting process. We now proceed publicly, line by line through our $104 million budget with the administration to understand and question the assumptions behind every proposed expenditure. We diligently seek efficiencies and cost-cutting opportunities. We transparently post all financial documents on the district’s website. I pledge to continue to improve transparency and accountability with the community.

Current and past school boards have put money in reserve for future maintenance, special education (our fastest growing budget category), new building projects, state payment interruptions and other anticipated needs. Some see these reserves as hoarding cash without a purpose. I view these savings as prudent and responsible planning that has put our district on solid financial footing.

On Nov. 7, I ask you to vote Bruce Clash, Paula Bussard, Joe Shane, George Stroud and Jon Tarrant for Carlisle School Board. We will budget resources responsibly to give all students the best educational experience possible.

Bruce Clash

Candidate for Carlisle Area School Board

Read Bruce's letter

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