CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Superintendent Dr. Michael LaSusa reported Monday at the regular meeting of the board of education that the district could receive an additional $188,195 in state aid if a new proposal in school funding is approved by Gov. Chris Christie in the next 10 days.
Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto have agreed to a deal that would provide more aid to under-funded districts, such as Chatham, by reducing some aid to what are deemed to be over-funded districts under the current system. While Chatham's enrollment has continued to rise, it's state aid has remained flat.
"It's pretty significant in its intent," LaSusa said. "If it were to be signed by the governor as part of the budget process for fiscal year 2018 that starts July 1st, we would received $188,000 more in state aid. There is only 10 days left before the budget has to be adopted. We should know in that time frame whether we will receive more funding or if it will languish and stay flat where we've been been for the past number of years."
The increase would represent a 9.4 percent rise in school funding for Chatham, if enacted.
Superintendent LaSusa explains how Chatham could receive additional state aid for the upcoming school year
LaSusa explains that the additional funding could be used by Chatham in the 2017-2018 school year if the governor agrees to the proposal
In its regular business, the board voted 8-0 to give LaSusa a new five-year contract that runs through 2,022 at a total cost of more than $1 million. LaSusa, who has not received a raise since 2011, will see his salary rise from $167,500 per year to $200,415. The BOE raised the superintendent's salary in a two-step process that rescinded a five-year contract signed in 2016 before approving the new one.
According to Peter Daquila, board business administrator/secretary, the state cap on superintendent salaries has been changed, allowing for LaSusa to receive his raise.
"The superintendent's salary cap was raised," Board president Jill Critchley Weber said. "The fact is that he hasn't been given a raise for the last few years. It was logistically easier to rescind the contract and issue a new one. He hasn't gotten a raise in five years."