New union contract, armed guard policy highlight tonight’s Monroe BOE meeting

Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2 | May 9, 2018 | MonroeNow

The Board of Education tonight is scheduled to hold a final vote and hearing on a policy that would allow retired police officers employed by the district as security guards to carry a gun while patrolling the schools.

Though the policy is widely supported by both community members and education officials, it met resistance at the last meeting by the policy committee because portions of the proposal were “inadequate” and that “it wasn’t really clear.”

Following several minutes of discussion, the board ultimately approved the policy for a second reading at tonight’s meeting, however, the policy committee and administration would continue to create a plan that satisfied the needs of education officials.

“This is a serious policy and the parents are taking it seriously, the community is taking it seriously, the Board of Education and administration are taking it seriously and the committee is as well,” said Policy Committee Chairwoman Michele Arminio at the April 25 meeting. “As you can imagine we understand the urgency of this policy … we want to get it right since it is really introducing deadly force into our schools.”

The district will also consider a resolution to award a contract to install synthetic turf field at the Monroe Township High School. If approved, according to board documents if approved as is, the total project would cost $493,877. There is also a resolution to accept a bid for a boiler and HVAC replacements at Brookside Elementary School from Unitemp, Inc. The bid submitted by Unitemp was $893,920.

With the board and the Monroe Township Education Association reaching a tentative deal announced at the April 25 meeting, trustees are scheduled to discuss adopting the new three-year contract during the closed session portion, and then hold a public vote.

And during the presentations portion of the meeting, the board will hold its teacher/educational services professional of the year award presentation.

The school board meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Monroe Township High School, 200 Schoolhouse Road.