Attorney Michael Inzelbuch: If It’s Good for Atlantic City, It’s Good for Lakewood

How would it be possible for Lakewood to get additional state aid before September 1 – if not sooner?

That’s a question we posed to education expert and attorney Michael Inzelbuch.

Here is what he responded:

First of all – THANK YOU Senator Singer for always caring about kids!

Let’s start off with a few FACTS.

1- Our State taxes are not going down regardless. STOP whining about State taxes. We all pay a lot of State taxes and get little for it.

2- The Township should NOT have to pay one dollar for the district’s problems – any monies would directly affect our taxes.

3- We need to, and must help our public-school kids.

4- Funding formula is not going to change without time (which we do not have) and without a lawsuit (not begging). A credible lawsuit is needed.

5- Atlantic City received more than $30 million in discretionary funding because their elected officials fought for them. (SEE HERE & HERE)

6- Lakewood is the ONLY district in the State where nonpublic students outnumber public students by more than 4.

7- Specifically, public school students’ number around 6000. Nonpublic students exceed 25,000

8- All districts MUST fund transportation for both public and nonpublic students who meet certain mileage criteria. (READ –not courtesy bussing). The STATE mandates this BUT does NOT fully reimburse

9- State Aid, in part, is determined by enrollment. Nonpublic kids are not considered enrolled, yet, the district must transport (see above).

10- Special education is another not funded mandate. Less than 45%.

11- Like any other district – nonpublic children whose needs are significant and cannot be met in nonpublic schools, register (READ – not enroll) their children in public school districts.

12- Lakewood, like many other districts, send their kids out of district.

13- The SCHI school is NJDOE approved and its tuition rate is set by the State.



Legislation that will recognize Lakewood as unique based, in part, on the above.

Senate and Assembly can do it as a “carve out.”

It has been done before for Lakewood when the district many years ago needed money.



Do not call the Township. They must continue protecting and lowering our taxes.

Call the VAAD

Call the IGUD

Call the Power Brokers

Call the State

Call Senator Sweeney who is a friend of Lakewood and a credible man and who understands special education.

Call Senator Singer and thank him.

Call the seniors and agree with them. Lakewood needs help. BUT – firing 140 staff is not the answer. State taxes are not going down nor up if Lakewood is helped.

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  1. Michael simpel solution all children in Lakewood should enroll in the public school system we will have money comming out of our ears. Than we will be nice and educate them on our own buildings for free. Lakewood gets to keep all the state money. Once it is giving based on enrollment we do not need to give back if a child decides to go to private. This would even work if half the kids enrolled.

  2. FACT, if Lakewood got fair funding, we wouldn’t to get property tax readies raises to the Max 2% each year. The township manages to keep their surplus recently each year, so the reason taxes go up is because we have to raise the education portion of the taxes to the maximum allowed. So fixing the formula will allow taxes to to down,or at least keep them from going up each year by the 2% max.

    Why do WE need to help our public school kids?
    If 100 teachers are out of work,and if classes go up to 40 or 50 per class,it will put more pressure on the senate and assembly to pass a carve out.

    Firing 140 teachers us nor ideal, but if it finally gets things solved, it will be well worth it. #1, it will put more pressure on the senate to fix the formula. #2 it will put pressure on lakewood board of education to finally see which kids are attending Lakewood schools from the surrounding areas.

    • Idle threats? says who? I’d register adn ENROLL and HAVE MY KIDS ATTEND if we could get the community to do that. Would not be long before THEY came back to the table with an offer. That’s not fraud. That’s going the full nine..

  3. Look as a community member and a proud teacher in Lakewood I am speaking with facts. Whatever your opinion all kids oubliette and private deserve a equitable education. Some require basic services while others require additional instruction. If G-d forbid your child needed the services of am medical specialists, most parents would do everything on their power to make this happen. All the students of Lakewood need that same support. By educating them through traditional means, they will become productive members of society. This would allow them to continue this practice for the generations which follow their lead. All kids are worth the effort. Help us help our kids.

  4. Thank you attorney Inzelbuch!
    Either a lawsuit or enroll all our children in public school. ALL our children, so that the numbers are real. We would be helping the lublic and lrivate students. Kiryas Yoel did it and they were successful. Perhaps we can have a link as to how to do that from this site?

  5. To all that ponder with the idea of sending all kids to the public school system are non informed to say the least.

    The formula that the state has will only cover a portion of the cost (its based on how many kids are enrolled in public school) and the property taxes would skyrocket. Our town would collapse financially due to the burden of building the nescesarry schools and infrastructure above the expense of paying to educate all the students.

    Michael is right, we as voters could urge our elected leader to change the law to help with our unique predicament (for those who say the private school bussing is causing the shortfalls are just using the talking points spewed by the haters, $800-1,000 per kid for bussing vs $16,000 per kid to educate in the public school system).

    Every parent should thank the senior citizen community for their contribution to our town without getting anything in return.

    One more point, not to sound xenophobic (thanks to Hillary for teaching me this word during the election) but Lakewood is educating many kids from out of town because it’s a bilingual school system which is also putting a hurt on the tax payers.

  6. Luzer Chaim you are missing the point. Taxes will not go up because the private children will only enroll. Lakewood will receive the state portion of funding but children will not show up. So Lakewood will get a boat load of money. Every year we will repeat the same thing.

  7. Consider this if you enroll all our children in public school, but actually send them to private schools. The private schools would not be able to spply for textsbooks,lunch program,title 1 and numerous other federal and state supports to private schools. To sum it up, sounds good but could never work in practice. Thanks to all those expending efforts on our behslf to solve this conundrum.

  8. Also, regarding the enrollment of all the children, the state would merely just have too look at this comment section to see that the intent was to fraudulently enroll children in the public schools for personal gains, and that gives them evidence of same to fight it in court.

    • I don’t believe misguided opinions by lay people, which are not actionable threats are permitted evidence in court. Enrolling the kids may require the schools to teach Hebrew and or Yiddish to accommodate their ethnic needs, because it would become a majority. On the other hand, religious studies would be out of the question, except for learning about Islam which is in the core curriculum. Enrolling the kids and they’re not showing up could cause DYFS problems as well as intent-to-deceive the government. In any case the money could not be diverted to “private” schools and the Lakewood School District will never become a Yeshivah. Enrollment is likely contingent upon actual attendance. Private schools will see no benefit in any scenario unless they teach an accredited curriculum and are certified as doing so, then money might be available but nowhere the amount to really offset expenses and tuition. Remember Yeshiva is not considered “special education” so there is no money tree here. Lakewood has to pick it’s battles carefully or else they could backfire bigtime. With the State and Federal agencies starting to put Lakewood under a microscope, things could get stretched out indefinitely and a Pandora’s box will be opened. I know Lakewood people are feeling like packed sardines in a can but it’s better than a can of worms to the government fishermen. My opinion FWIW.

  9. i wish r’ Michael would come out with a clear explanation if enrolling all the private kids in public school would work. every year its discussed and spoken about and I would love to know if its even a feasible option. not practical, but is it even legally an idea and would it help in any way?
    as always thanks for all your help a huge fan!!

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