The School District of the Chathams (SDOC) has long distinguished itself as one of the most outstanding public school districts in New Jersey and the nation. Performance metrics such as test scores, Advanced Placement participation rates, post-secondary enrollment, and rankings by local publications consistently place SDOC at or near the top of highly rated peer schools. However, SDOC’s competitiveness is being threatened by ﬁscal and demographic changes. Whereas Chatham’s total population has grown by 10-15% over the past 25 years, the population of SDOC has almost doubled. This has placed increasing demands on facilities designed for a much smaller student population. With statutory limits on school budget increases and reduced and unreliable support from the State, SDOC may face signiﬁcant challenges in meeting the needs of its students.
In addition to annual grant funding of $100,000, Chatham Education Foundation (CEF) established an endowment to address increasing strains on SDOC. A Permanent Endowment, by producing a reliable stream of income, will bring increased stability and longevity to grant funding, as well as the ability to increase the absolute level of grants. A Term Endowment will help SDOC deal with inevitable budget shocks resulting from unpredictable New Jersey State funding levels. We hope that CEF’s donors will contribute to the endowment and continue their history of strong philanthropic support for our schools.