Chatham BOE Considers Raising Taxes to Cover Added Security, Legal Fees

Sal Arnuk reported on the finance committee's discussions about raising the increase in the school budget from 2.87 percent to 2.95 Credits: TAP Chatham
Board member Rich Connors said it would be "prudent" to plan for increased costs Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - Sal Arnuk, a member of the Chatham Board of Education's finance committee, reported that the board may raise its proposed school budget to cover added school security costs and possible legal fees at the BOE's regular meeting on Monday night.

The BOE had introduced a budget that calls for a 2.87 percent increase over the current budget, but Arnuk signaled that it could be adjusted up to a 2.95 percent. Arnuk reported on finance committee discussions in video below.

Superintendent Dr. Michael LaSusa and the Chatham Middle School received added security from the Chatham police departments Monday because of national attention the district is getting about its curriculum.

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Two Chatham mothers have questioned the emphasis on the religion of Islam in a seventh grade "World Cultures and Geography" class and recently acquired legal representation.

"The discussion was to edge up the budget slightly to accommodate added cost," LaSusa said. "They're discussing the percentage and the dollar figure attached to that and they'll have that number by May 1 (when the budget is set to be adopted)."

The Chatham Borough and Chatham Township police departments charged the school district $6,800 to provide added security for the board offices and the Chatham Middle School in the week after two Chatham mothers appeared on the Fox News Channel's "Tucker Carlson Tonight." The two mothers had questioned the emphasis on the religion of Islam in seventh grade "World Cultures and Geography" class.

Board member Rich Connors said that it was "prudent" to plan for increased costs in his remarks on Monday


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